Blues­man Eddy Clear­wa­ter dies of heart fail­ure at age 83

South Florida Times - - OBITUARIES - Jill Ker Con­way, the first woman to be­come pres­i­dent of Smith Col­lege, has died at age 83.

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago blues­man Eddy Clear­wa­ter, lauded for his gui­tar play­ing and flam­boy­ant show­man­ship, has died of heart fail­ure.

Al­li­ga­tor Records an­nounced Clear­wa­ter, 83, died Friday in Skokie, Illi­nois.

Known as “The Chief,” Clear­wa­ter was born Ed­ward Har­ring­ton in Ma­con, Mis­sis­sippi. A self-taught gui­tarist, he be­gan his ca­reer in Birm­ing­ham, per­form­ing with gospel mu­sic groups, in­clud­ing the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. Af­ter mov­ing to Chicago in 1950, Clear­wa­ter drifted into the blues, mak­ing a name for him­self as Gui­tar Eddy.

Ac­cord­ing to Al­li­ga­tor Records, af­ter Clear­wa­ter added a rock and roll el­e­ment to his gui­tar play­ing, his then man­ager came up with the name Clear Wa­ters as a play on blues leg­end Muddy Wa­ters. The name even­tu­ally evolved into Eddy Clear­wa­ter.

His 2003 al­bum, “Rock `N' Roll City,'' was nom­i­nated for a Grammy Award as best tra­di­tional blues al­bum.

Clear­wa­ter is sur­vived by his wife, Re­nee, and six chil­dren.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SMITH COL­LEGE

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