Charlie Musselwhite

Charlie Musselwhite

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Charlie Musselwhite

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With an induction into the Blues Music Hall of Fame, 35 Blues Music Awards, and 11 Grammy nominations American electric blues harmonica player and bandleader Charlie Musselwhite has truly earned legendary status as one of blues music’s most important artists. One of the non-black bluesmen who came to prominence in the early 1960s (alongside Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield, among others), Musselwhite was reportedly the inspiration for Dan Aykroyd’s character in The Blues Brothers. He was born in Mississippi but spent his formative years in Memphis during the period when rockabilly, western swing, electric blues and other forms of African American music were combining to give birth to rock and roll. Musselwhite supported himself by digging ditches, laying concrete and running moonshine in a 1950 Lincoln automobile. This environment was Musselwhite’s school for music, as well as life, and where he acquired the nickname “Memphis Charlie.” In true bluesman fashion, Musselwhite continued his education on the South Side of Chicago, and since 1966, has released over 25 albums, as well as guesting on albums by many other notable musicians including Bonnie Raitt, INXS, Tom Waits and The Blind Boys of Alabama, among others. Musselwhite recently teamed up with Ben Harper on Get Up!—the long-time-coming collaboration that took home the Grammy for Best Blues Album in 2014.

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