Mighty Joe Young

Born 23 September 1927. Died 27 March 1999.


Mighty Joe Young (September 23, 1927 – March 27, 1999) was an American Chicago blues guitarist. Born Joseph Young in Shreveport, Louisiana, he died in Chicago, Illinois. Though born in Louisiana, Young was raised in Milwaukee. He first began playing in the early 1950s by singing in Milwaukee nightclubs. By the mid-1950s, Young had recorded his first song for Jiffy Records in Louisiana.

Before Young became known for his contributions to blues, he was training to become a boxer.

Young worked as a sidemen in Chicago starting the 1950s. He worked with Otis Rush and his band in the 1960s, and played on Magic Sam's albums, West Side Soul and Black Magic. His album Blues with a Touch of Soul came out on Delmark Records in 1971. Young also worked with Billy Boy Arnold, Jimmy Rogers, and Willie Dixon. Young's song, "Turning Point", appeared in the Michael Mann feature film, Thief (1981).

Young died in March 1999 at the age of 71 as a result of complications of surgery.

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