Jimmy Reed – Sept. 6

Born September 6, 1925 in Dunleith, Mississippi
Died August 29, 1976 in Oakland, California

Mathis James “Jimmy” Reed, musician and songwriter popular during the 1950’s and ‘60’s, was noted for his electric blues guitar sound, lowdown harmonica, and slack-voiced, twangy singing style (which was his charm and trademark sound which many musicians imitated). He composed a string of hits, often popularized by others including the Rolling Stones (who cite Reed as a major influence), Grateful Dead, Elvis Presley, and Etta James.  Some of his hits include Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby, Baby What You Want Me to DoBig Boss Man, and Bright Lights, Big City (the latter 2 were included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock Music).

Jimmy Reed battled alcoholism and died of respiratory illness at age 51. He was inducted posthumously to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Hear Jimmy Reed sing Down in Mississippi, and enjoy classic blues, with a  twist of Southern humor:

In case you didn’t understand Jimmy Reed’s lazy diction (which is what I love most about him!), here are the lyrics:

Down in Mississippi

by Jimmy Reed

Down in Mississippi where cotton grow tall,
get arrested for trouble you got to call the hound dog
Oh uh, down in Mississippi, whoa yeah, where the cotton grow tall
Yes, and on the other hand, baby, boll weevil wearing overalls

Go to work in the morning, you know, ’bout 4 o’clock
Uh, if the mule don’t holler, yeah, I don’t know when to stop
Down in Mississippi, baby, uh whoa yeah, where the cotton grow tall
Well, and on the other hand, baby, boll weevil wearing overall

I go to church in the morning, baby, you know, down the railroad track
Late over in the evening they bring, bring the preacher back
He eat up all the chicken now but uh right to the neck
Look over at my baby and he eat up all the rest ’cause he was uh down in Mississippi
Uh oh yeah, where the cotton grow tall
Well now, and on the other hand, baby, boll weevil wearing overalls

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