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On this date in 1915, Floyd McDaniel, a Black blues singer and musician, was born.
Born in Athens, Alabama, he spent much of his life in Chicago, where he moved in 1930 when he was 15. As a teenager, McDaniel played and sang the blues on the streets of Chicago, and in 1933, he joined a washboard band called the Rhythm Rascals. In the early 1940s, McDaniel learned to play the electric guitar and joined the Four Blazes, a jump blues combo that later became the Five Blazes and recorded for Aristocrat records in 1947 and United Artists in 1952-53. The Blazes went through their share of personnel changes; some of the artists McDaniel played with in the group included bassist Thomas Brained and pianist Ernie Harper.
After the Blazes drifted apart in the late 1950s, McDaniel was involved in a variety of activities, including operating a tavern on Chicago's South Side in the 1950s and 1960s and playing with a version of the Ink Spots in the 1970s. He continued performing, however, backing the singer Sam Cooke, and in 1971, he joined the Ink Spots as a guitarist, a job that lasted 10 years.
In the 1980s, McDaniel joined forces with Dave Clark, a veteran tenor saxophonist who ended up joining McDaniel's final group, the Blues Swingers. He performed regularly after that, and in 1994, recorded "Let Your Hair Down! (Delmark) with the Blues Swingers. Known for blues-drenched jazz and jazz-drenched blues, McDaniel was a part of the Windy City scene for most of his 80 years. He played contemporary Blues, Jive, Jazz Blues, Jump Blues, and Modern Electric Blues.
McDaniel was nicknamed “Butter” by Billie Holiday. He died in Chicago on July 22, 1995, the day after his 80th birthday.
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