Benoit, Mississippi native Eddie Taylor, an architect of the post-World War II Chicago blues, was renowned for his work both as a bandleader and accompanist. He was best known for shaping the distinctive sound of Jimmy Reed, a childhood friend with whom Taylor reunited in Chicago.
Taylor is revered as one of the most influential guitarists in Chicago blues history, known for his versatility, impeccable timing, and consummate musicianship. As a child Taylor was influenced by Delta bluesmen Charley Patton, Son House, Big Joe Williams, and Robert Johnson, but learned to play guitar from a musician named “Popcorn.” Taylor performed in local jukes around Mississippi, and taught guitar to Jimmy Reed in nearby Meltonia. In the 1940s he moved to Memphis and then to Chicago, where he helped pioneer the city’s new electric blues style.