Magic Slim, the Mississippi-native guitarist and singer who died early Thursday in Philadelphia, for decades was a standard-bearer for Chicago blues.
The bluesman, 75, died Thursday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, said manager Marty Salzman. Slim had been scheduled to play a show in Harrisburg in early February when he was stricken with bleeding ulcers. He was first treated at a hospital in Pottstown, then transferred to Jefferson two weeks ago for surgery. He also suffered from lung, heart, and kidney disease, and "it all turned out to be too much for him," Salzman said.
Slim, who was born Morris Holt in Torrance, Miss., and grew up in nearby Grenada, began playing guitar after a childhood accident with a cotton gin caused him to lose a pinky finger and give up playing piano. He was a broad and imposing figure on the bandstand, 6-foot-6 and known for his trademark cowboy hat. Slim was given his nickname by childhood friend Magic Sam.