New Orleans bluesman Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones) exerted an enormous influence on many modern guitarists to follow. A brilliant and underrated guitarist, Slim was also the consummate showman. He dyed his hair to match the color of his suits and used a 100-foot+ guitar cord to wander off stage into the parking lot during gigs. He lived in the fast lane and he played loudly! His 1954 hit, “ThingsThat I Used to Do,” is a timeless and important blues classic, reached the top of the R&B charts. It featured another blues legend, Ray Charles who arranged the gospel-tinged track and played piano.
Guitar Slim was born Eddie Jones in Greenwood, Mississippi on December 10, 1926. When he was five years old his mother died, and having never known his father, he was sent to Hollandale to be raised by his grandmother on the L. C. Haves plantation. Living there, he learned to make a living working in the cotton fields and plowing behind a mule.
At a young age, Eddie would spend his free time at the local juke joints in Hollandale. He began to sit in with traveling and local bands as a singer and dancer. In fact, his adept skills as a dancer earned him the nickname Limber Legs. At the age of 18, he was working with a band fronted by Willie Warren. Bandleader Willie Warren was acknowledged as introducing Jones to the guitar. He found further influence from the Delta slide legend Robert Nighthawk, who occasionally traveled through Hollandale. Despite the wealth of Blues guitarists in Mississippi, Jones gained his true love for the instrument from the sounds he heard coming out of Texas, in particular, T-Bone Walker and Clarence Gatemouth Brown. And it would be Gatemouth's Boogie Rambler that he would use as his theme song for several years.