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Radio date: The Legend of Guitar Slim

September 25, 2010

During our research for this documentary, the name Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones came up regularly, and reverently. Here’s how WWOZ DJ David Kunian describes the New Orleans musician:

Before Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy, before Stevie Ray Vaughn and Albert King, before Earl King and Albert Collins, there was a drenched-in-emotion singer and wild guitarist who hit New Orleans from the heart of the Mississippi Delta in the 1950s. He was an unparallel showman known for walking out in the crowd or climbing the rafters with his 300 foot long guitar cord. He was famous for dyeing his hair and painting his shoes to match his brightly colored suit. He had many great songs and only one hit, “The Things I Used To Do,” which has become a standard of blues music. His name was Eddie Jones, but everyone knew him as GUITAR SLIM. In the words of Atlantic Records owner and producer, Jerry Wexler, “No one has as much soul as Guitar Slim.” Anyone who saw him perform cannot forget him. And then, just as suddenly as he appeared, he was gone, dead in 1959 at age 32. His was a star that burned brightly and quickly and still lives on in the memories of those lucky enough to see him.

Kunian’s radio documentary, The Things I Used To Do: The Legend of Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones, will air on Mississippi Public Broadcasting this weekend: tonight (Saturday) at 11 p.m. and tomorrow (Sunday) at 5 p.m. For details on how to listen, go to http://www.mpbonline.org/radio/index.htm.

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