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Blues Guitar Great Hubert Sumlin Dies at 80

Howlin’ Wolf sideman was recently named one of 100 best by ‘Rolling Stone’

Just a week after Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all-time-at number 43-Hubert Sumlin, the longtime sideman to Chicago blues pioneer Howlin’ Wolf, passed away at age 80. Sumlin died Dec. 4 in Wayne, N.J., reportedly of heart failure.

Sumlin had a lung removed in 2004 and had recently performed onstage with an oxygen tank.

Sumlin gained renown as Wolf’s regular guitarist, contributing to his legendary Chess recordings and his live performances. He played behind the late giant from 1954 on until Wolf’s death in 1976. Following Wolf’s death, Sumlin (who first recorded under his own name in 1964) continued as a solo artist. His 2004 album About Them Shoes, included guest appearances from Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Levon Helm, David Johansen and James Cotton.

Sumlin was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2008.

Originally Published