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Sam Myers

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  • Born: Laurel, MS
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Sam Myers got a second chance at the brass ring, and he happily made the most of it. As frontman for Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets, the legally blind Myers's booming voice and succinct harp work have enjoyed a higher profile recently than ever before.

Although he was born and mostly raised in Mississippi, Myers got into the habit of coming up to visit Chicago as early as 1949 (where he learned from hearing Little Walter and James Cotton). Myers joined a band, King Mose & the Royal Rockers, after settling in Jackson, MS, in 1956. Myers's 1957 debut 45 for Johnny Vincent's Ace logo, "Sleeping in the Ground"/"My Love Is Here to Stay," featured backing by the Royal Rockers.

Myers played both drums and harp behind slide guitar great Elmore James at a 1961 session for Bobby Robinson's Fire label in New Orleans. Myers cut a standout single of his own for Robinson's other logo, Fury Records, the year before that coupled his appealing remake of Jimmy Reed's "You Don't Have to Go" with "Sad, Sad Lonesome Day."

Myers made some albums with a loosely knit group called the Mississippi Delta Blues Band for TJ during the early '80s before teaming up with young Texas guitar slinger Funderburgh, whose insistence on swinging grooves presents the perfect backdrop for Myers. Their first collaboration for New Orleans-based Black Top Records, 1985's My Love Is Here to Stay, was followed by several more albums -- Sins, Rack 'Em Up, Tell Me What I Want to Hear, 1995's Live at the Grand Emporium -- each one confirming that this was one of the most enduring blues partnerships of the 1990s. In 2004, Myers released his first solo album, Coming from the Old School, just two years before he died, on July 17, 2006.

Wikipedia:

Sam Myers (February 19, 1936 – July 17, 2006) was an American blues musician and songwriter. He appeared as an accompanist on dozens of recordings for blues artists over five decades. He began his career as a drummer for Elmore James, but was most famous as a blues vocalist and blues harp player. For nearly two decades he was the featured vocalist for Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Biography[edit]

Samuel Joseph Myers was born in Laurel, Mississippi. He acquired juvenile cataracts at age 7 and was left legally blind for the rest of his life despite corrective surgery. He could make out shapes and shadows, but could not read print at all; he was taught Braille. Myers acquired an interest in music while a schoolboy in Jackson, Mississippi and became skilled enough at playing the trumpet and drums that he received a non-degree scholarship from the American Conservatory of Music (formerly named the American Conservatory School of Music) in Chicago. Myers attended school by day and at night frequented the nightclubs of the South Side, Chicago. There he met and was sitting in with Jimmy Rogers, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Little Walter, Hound Dog Taylor, Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Elmore James. Myers played drums with Elmore James on a fairly steady basis from 1952 until James's death in 1963, and is credited on many of James's historic recordings for Chess Records. In 1956, Myers wrote and recorded what was to be his most famous single, "Sleeping In The Ground", a song that has been covered by Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and many other blues artists, as well as being featured on Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour show on 'Sleep'.

From the early 1960s until 1986, Myers worked the clubs in and around Jackson, as well as across the South in the (formerly) racially segregated string of venues dubbed the Chitlin' Circuit. He also toured the world with Sylvia Embry and the Mississippi All-Stars Blues Band.

In 1986, Myers met Anson Funderburgh, from Plano, Texas, and joined his band, The Rockets. Myers toured all over the U.S. and the world with The Rockets, enjoying a partnership that endured until the time of his death, from complications from throat cancer surgery on July 17, 2006, in Dallas, Texas.

Just before Myers died, he toured as a solo artist, in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, with the Swedish band, Bloosblasters.

That same year, the University Press of Mississippi published Myers' autobiography titled Sam Myers: The Blues is My Story. Writer Jeff Horton, whose work has appeared in Blues Revue and Southwest Blues, chronicled Myers' history and delved into his memories of life on the road.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Awards[edit]

Myers and The Rockets collectively won nine W. C. Handy Awards, including three "Band of the Year" awards and the 2004 award for Best Traditional Album of the Year. In 2005, Myers' record, Coming From The Old School was nominated for Traditional Blues Album of the Year for his .

In January 2000, Myers was inducted into the Farish Street Walk of Fame in Jackson, Mississippi, an honor he shares with Dorothy Moore and Sonny Boy Williamson II. In 2006, just months before Myers died, the Governor of Mississippi presented Myers with the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, and was named state Blues Ambassador by the Mississippi Arts Commission.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

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