Buddy Guy was born in Louisiana, a southern US state famous for its blues, in 1936. He set about learning the guitar by ear at high school, rejecting conventional music lessons in favour of the raw passion he heard on blues records.
After performing with various bands in the Louisiana town of Baton Rouge in the early 50s, he later moved to Chicago and became part of the house band at Chess Records, and sideman to the likes of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.
Influenced by the showmanship and guitar histrionics of Guitar Slim, Buddy became a recording artist in his own right in 1958. However, with a lack of support from his record company - they thought he was simply too loud and distorted for the general public due to his use of anti-social effects such as feedback - he became frustrated. It was only when a new generation of blues guitarists like Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix openly admired and emulated him - achieving great commercial success along the way - that Buddy started to get the recognition he deserved. In fact, Hendrix had reputedly cancelled his own shows to go and watch him!