Known for blues-drenched jazz and jazz-drenched blues, Floyd McDaniel was a part of the Chicago scene for most of his 80 years. The singer/guitarist was born in Athens, Alabama but spent much of his life in the Windy City, where he'd moved to when he was 15, in 1930. As a teenager, McDaniel played and sang the blues on the streets of Chicago, and in 1933, he joined a washboard band called the Rhythm Rascals. In the early '40s, McDaniel learned to play the electric guitar and joined the Four Blazes, a jump blues combo that later became the Five Blazes and recorded for Aristocrat in 1947 and United Artists in 1952-1953. The Blazes went through their share of personnel changes; some of the artists McDaniel played with in the group included bassist Thomas Braden and pianist Ernie Harper. After the Blazes drifted apart in the late '50s, McDaniel was involved in a variety of activities, including operating a tavern on Chicago's South Side in the '50s and '60s and playing with a version of the Ink Spots in the '70s. In the '80s, McDaniel joined forces with Dave Clark, a veteran tenor saxophonist who ended up joining McDaniel's final group, the Blues Swingers. McDaniel, who recorded for Delmark in the 1990s, died in Chicago on July 23, 1995, only two days after his 80th birthday.
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