Born George Guy in Lettsworth, Louisiana in 1936, he played with bands in the early 1950s in Baton Rouge before moving to Chicago in 1957 where he’d meet up with his musical mentor Muddy Waters. Guy would work in local clubs with Waters and as a sideman with other blues stars including Willie Dixon, Otis Rush, Koko Taylor, Little Walter, and Howlin’ Wolf.

In the 1960s, Guy worked as a session guitarist for Chess Records. There he played on many records, including those of Junior Wells, whom he would later record and perform with extensively.

His career was revived with the growing popularity of the blues during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Guy is one of the last remaining links to a prolific period in Chicago blues history. He has influenced many blues and rock guitarists, including Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, and continues to be one of the most important ambassadors of the Chicago blues.


Guy’s promise to keep the blues alive comes not only through his performances, but by providing a place for other blues artists to perform. In the 1970’s, Guy co-owned the famed Checkerboard Lounge on Chicago’s South Side. Later in 1989, he opened his own blues club Buddy Guy’s Legends on South Wabash, where he performs every year .