By Phil Chesnut
Sam Myers, one of the true gentlemen of the blues, unexpectedly passed away at his home in Dallas, after recently recovering from throat cancer surgery. Sam was born in Laurel, Mississippi in 1936. In the early 50s, Myers moved to Chicago on a music scholarship, where he abandoned the classics for the blues...and the rest is musical history.
Fronting Anson Funderburg's band since 1986, Sam is well known for his brilliant harmonica and unmistakable vocals. Originally a drummer on Chicago's south side, Myers sat in with such legends as Howlin' Wolf, Robert Lockwood, and Muddy Waters. It is Sam's beat that is heard on those classic Elmore James recordings.
I was very proud to call Sam Myers my friend. I enjoyed many enlightening conversations with this articulate, scholarly man, whether at a blues venue or when I'd call him at his home in Dallas. The blues world will miss Sam Myers for what he gave. I will miss him because he was my friend.
Phil Chesnut is an award winning photographer and keen observer of the Northwest blues scene. All of the photographs that appear in this article were created by Phil.