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Eddy Clearwater

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Information about Eddy Clearwater

Profile image of Eddy Clearwater

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Blues Musician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Ribs, Catfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Who Loves You, Baby?

Birthplace

Born:
1/10/1935
Birth Location:
Macon, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Blues Musician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Ribs, Catfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
Who Loves You, Baby?

Birthplace

Born:
1/10/1935
Birth Location:
Macon
See how Eddy Clearwater is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born Edward Harrington on January 10, 1935, in Macon, Mississippi, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater has become one of blues music's most enduring and original performers. As a child, Clearwater worked on the family farm and spent many hours listening to music ranging from country to gospel to the blues. While still in his teens, the family moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where Clearwater first learned to play the guitar and began backing various gospel groups in the area.

At the bidding of his uncle Houston, Clearwater traveled north to Chicago and the blossoming blues scene in September of 1950. Working by day, Clearwater spent his evenings in blues clubs, listening to such legends as Muddy Waters and Sunnyland Slim. By 1953, Clearwater was performing in clubs in Chicago, including the Happy Hope Lounge and Mel's Hideaway. In 1958, Clearwater cut his first single, and the following year he made his television debut on Bandstand Matinee. His star quickly rose, and he continued to record and perform throughout the 1960s and 1970s, fulfilling his childhood dream of being able to play guitar full-time. In the mid-1970s, Clearwater embarked on his first European tour, traveling with fellow blues men Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Jimmy Johnson. In 1987, Clearwater was picked by the U.S. government to do a diplomatic tour of performances in Africa.

Since then, Clearwater has continued to tour, returning to Europe on several occasions, as well as performances in South America and throughout the United States. He also continues to record and self-produce albums on his record label, Clear Tone. Throughout the course of his career, Clearwater has performed with many of the legends of blues, and he continues to break new ground with his own sounds.

Clearwater passed away on June 1, 2018.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eddy Clearwater interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eddy Clearwater lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eddy Clearwater recalls his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eddy Clearwater remembers his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eddy Clearwater lists the family members who raised him
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eddy Clearwater shares memories of growing up in Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eddy Clearwater talks about Robert Johnson
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eddy Clearwater recounts his early love of music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Eddy Clearwater discusses the close relationship of gospel and blues music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eddy Clearwater recalls his elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eddy Clearwater describes his childhood family life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eddy Clearwater remembers his introduction to music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eddy Clearwater recounts his transition from Alabama to Chicago
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eddy Clearwater recalls his introduction to the Chicago blues scene
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eddy Clearwater discusses the blues' roots in segregated Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Eddy Clearwater remembers his first gigs, and starting to sing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Eddy Clearwater discusses finding his own style, writing songs, and recording albums
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Eddy Clearwater recalls 63rd Street at the height of the Chicago blues and jazz scene
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eddy Clearwater recalls the reception of his first record
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eddy Clearwater remembers his live performances
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eddy Clearwater discusses the financial risks of the music industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eddy Clearwater recounts becoming a successful musician
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eddy Clearwater recalls the 1960s British music scene
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eddy Clearwater laments the lack of interest in the blues in the black community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eddy Clearwater discusses efforts to preserve the blues
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Eddy Clearwater shares his favorite songs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Eddy Clearwater expresses his hopes for the future of the blues and the black community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Eddy Clearwater discusses the connections between American blues and African music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Eddy Clearwater reflects on his life and career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eddy Clearwater recalls opening his own blues club
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eddy Clearwater considers his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eddy Clearwater talks about B.B. King
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eddy Clearwater reflects on his life and career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eddy Clearwater shares a story about B.B. King
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eddy Clearwater dicusses mentoring young musicians