His manager Marty Salzman confirmed the news, shortly after midnight on Thursday at a Philadelphia hospital Marty Salzman know as Slim pass away . He also commented Slim had health problems that worsened while he was on tour several weeks ago in Pennsylvania.
Magic Slim, a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene who followed in the footsteps of such greats as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Slim, the son of Mississippi sharecroppers gave up the piano and turned to guitar after losing his right pinky finger in a cotton gin accident at age 13.
He was a heavy smoker who suffered from emphysema and heart problems, Slim was forced by illness to cut short a tour with his band, the Teardrops, in late January, Salzman said.
Magic Slim and the Teardrops performed Chicago-style electric blues, led by his singing and guitar playing, and were regulars on the music festival circuit.
Born Morris Holt in Torrence, Mississippi, Slim grew up on a farm and made his first trip to Chicago in 1955, starting off as the bass player for a friend and mentor known as Magic Sam, who lent the younger musician his nickname.
1966 Slim cut his first record in and became a Chicago blues fixture in his own right, developing a guitar style that blended a distinct vibrato with a slide-guitar-like sound formed with his bare fingers against the strings.
With more than 30 albums to his credit, Slim also was known for an encyclopedic mastery of the blues, Salzman said.
Slim was known for playing with picks on both the thumb and index finger of his right hand – a somewhat unusual technique, according to Salzman – the guitarist was also recognized as much for his powerful, gruff vocals as his musicianship.
“There’s probably not another bluesman who had quite the repertoire that Slim had,” he said.