- The Chief (1980)
- Flimdoozie (1986)
- Blues Hangout (1989)
- A Real Good Time… Live! (1990)
- Two Times Nine (1992)
- Help Yourself (1992)
- Live At The Kingston Mines, Chicago, 1978 (1992)
- Boogie My Blues Away (1995)
- Mean Case of the Blues (1997)
- Cool Blues Walk (1998)
by Kim Williams (SHS)
Eddy Clearwater is one of the most famous Mississippi musicians of all time. This renowned blues singer has traveled the globe performing many of his great hits. Clearwater’s strong gospel background and great ability to play the guitar have made him a master at playing the blues. Over the years Clearwater has appeared on television shows in America and in England. He has also recorded for a company in France. During his career he has won various awards as well.
Eddy Harrington was born January 10, 1935, in Macon, Mississippi. He is now known as Eddy Clearwater (edbio). Clearwater grew up listening to country and western records (The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music 846). When Clearwater was thirteen, his family moved to Birmingham, Alabama. There he began backing various gospel groups on his guitar, including the legendary Five Blind Boys (edbio). At age fifteen, still playing gospel music, Clearwater first hit Chicago’s West Side in September, 1950. Magic Sam was Clearwater’s friend as well as soul mate (Eddy Clearwater Table of Contents). Clearwater had made his move into Blues music by 1953 (edbio).
In 1957, Clearwater was inspired by Chuck Berry’s stylistic influence. Chuck Berry’s song “Oh Baby Doll” overwhelmed Clearwater. He blasted this song from the speaker of his car radio. Combining Berry-style rock and Magic Sam-influenced West Side Blues, Clearwater incorporated his left-handed, upside down guitar technique, a fantastic stage performance and a versatile repertoire, to quickly establish an unforgettable reputation (edbio). Even though Clearwater worked as a cab driver during the day while living in Chicago, he played local Chicago nightclubs for decades. He also recorded singles for labels like Atomic-H, LaSalle, and Federal. Until Clearwater gained recognition for his remarkable talents, he remained one of Chicago’s hidden treasures (edbio).
Clearwater is a true entertainer that can play a wide range of musical styles. He combines rock and roll, soul, country, and blues into a unique sound of his own (The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music 846). Interestingly, Eddy Harrington got the name Eddy Clearwater as a pun on the name Muddy Water by Jump Jackson (Eddy Clearwater Table of Contents). He got the name “The Chief” because he sometimes performs in Native American clothing (Eddy Clearwater). Clearwater plays his guitar with his left hand and upside down, adding more dramatic effects to his energetic performances. Clearwater is today one of Chicago’s most versatile artists He and many other blues men and women are truly keeping the blues alive.
Clearwater toured Europe twice in the late 1970’s. He made appearances on England’s BBC television and recorded for France’s MCM Company. The first release on Chicago’s Rooster Blues label was Clearwater’s 1980’s United States debut album “The Chief.” His next album was recorded for England’s Red Lightnin’ [sic] label. It also won a W.C. Handy Award for “Best Import Blues Album.” “Two more albums for Rooster Blues followed: Flimdoozie (1986) and A Real Good Time … Live! (1990). Other albums include Blues Hangout (Evidence; 1989), Help Yourself (Blind Pig: 1992) (edbio).”
Eddy Clearwater married his manager Renee Greenman. Carey Bell (Harrington), also born in Macon, Mississippi, in 1936, is Clearwater’s cousin. Recently, Clearwater had heart bypass surgery. The doctors played one of Clearwater’s many albums, The Chief, while they performed the entire five-hour operation (Eddy Clearwater).
In 1995, a great session with Ralph Bass from 1977 was released as Boogie My Blues on Delmark. Clearwater’s first album for Bullseye Blues and Jazz, “Mean Case of the Blues,” was issued in 1997. “Don’t Take My Blues,” a phenomenal song from the album Mean Case of the Blues won a 1998 W.C. Handy Award nomination for “Blues Song for the Year (edbio). Clearwater was nominated for the W.C. Handy Award for “Artist Most Deserving of Wider Recognition” (Eddy Clearwater). Clearwater’s current Bullseye Blues and Jazz release is Cool Blues Walk. On this album Clearwater worked with Duke Robillard and Duke Robillard Band. Currently, Clearwater is touring across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America (edbio).
- 1935 – Eddy Harrington is born in Macon, Mississippi, on January 10.
- 1948 – His family moved to Birmingham, Alabama.
- 1950 – Moved to Chicago’s West Side
- 1953 – Started playing blues
- 1957 – Became influenced by Chuck Berry
- 1970’s – Toured Europe twice
- 1980 – The Chief released
- 1986 – Flimdoozie released
- 1989 – Blues Hangout released
- 1990 – A Real Good Time … Live! released
- 1992 – Help Yourself released
- 1995 – Boogie My Blues Away released
- 1997 – Mean Case of the Blues released
- 1998 – Cool Blues Walk released