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Guitar Slim

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Eddie Jones (December 10, 1926 – February 7, 1959), better known as Guitar Slim, was a New Orleans blues guitarist, from the 1940s and 1950s, best known for the million-selling song “The Things That I Used to Do”, produced by Johnny Vincent at Specialty Records. It is a song that is listed in “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll”. Slim had a major impact on rock and roll and experimented with distorted overtones on the electric guitar a full decade before Jimi Hendrix.

Jones was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, USA. His mother died when he was five, so his grandmother raised him and he spent his teen years in the cotton fields. He spent his free time at the local juke joints and starting sitting in as a singer or dancer; he was good enough to be nicknamed “Limber Legs”.

After returning from World War II military service, he started playing clubs around New Orleans, Louisiana. Bandleader Willie Warren had introduced him to the guitar, and he was particularly influenced by T-Bone Walker and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. About 1950 he adopted the stage name “Guitar Slim” and started becoming known for his wild stage act. He wore bright-colored suits and dyed his hair to match them, had an assistant follow him around the audience with up to 350 feet of cord between amplifier and guitar, and would occasionally get up on his assistant’s shoulders, or even take his guitar outside the club and bring traffic to a stop. His sound was just as unusual — he was playing with distorted guitar more than a decade before rock guitarists did the same, and his gospel-influenced vocals were easily identifiable.

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