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© David Atlas/Retna Ltd./Corbis
Stage names were all the rage among blues artists.
There was Magic Sam (Samuel Gene Maghett), pianist Memphis Slim (John Len Chatman), Pinetop Perkins (Joseph William Perkins), Tampa Red (Hudson Woodbridge) and of course, Muddy Waters… aka McKinley Morganfield. The list goes on and on.
The prefix ‘blind’ was surprisingly common with blues artists. Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller and Blind Willie McTell all used it for obvious reasons. Surprisingly, Father of the Texas Blues Blind Lemon Jefferson’s real christian name was Lemon. He was born Lemon Henry Jefferson.
These days artists like Seasick Steve (Steven Gene Wold, dontcha know) carry on the name-changing tradition of the blues.