As we have mentioned before, this is the 50th anniversary of the seminal Chicago blues and jazz label Delmark, and there is many a celebration in the offing.
But I think of no better celebration than to talk about a Delmark release that is considered by many to be one of the greatest blues records of all time, Magic Sam’s West Side Soul.
Magic Sam (Maghett) was a great, soulful singer and smooth, glowing guitarist – born in Mississippi but raised on the West Side – who would have become one of the biggest stars of blues if he hadn’t died of a heart attack at age 32 in 1969.
West Side Soul was recorded in 1967 by Delmark owner Bob Koester and boasts standards “Sweet Home Chicago,” “I Don”t Want No Woman” and “Mama Talk to Your Daughter,” brilliant guitar work from both Sam and second guitarist Mighty Joe Young (not the monkey), and Sam’s searing vocals, the record smokes.
There is even a real soul number on the record, “That’s All I Need.” Sam dominated the ’69 Ann Arbor Blues Festival and was on the verge of stardom when his heart gave out. He deserved much better.