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Leroy Foster

Bluesman Baby Face Leroy Foster was born on 12 February 1923, in Algoma, Mississippi. He was one of the pioneers of the post-World War II southern blues resurgence in Chicago, arriving in the city in 1945.Between 1948 and 1952. Baby Face Leroy Foster waxed a handful of terrific sides under his own name for a number fledgling Chicago labels aided by some of the windy city’s best blues musicians. In addition his vocals, drumming, and guitar playing can be found backing some of the greatest Chicago blues records of the era. His death in 1958, at the age of 38, robbed the blues world of a singular, memorable talent and likely did much to hasten his unwarranted obscurity.

Foster was first cousin to Little Johnny Jones and Little Willie Foster and came up to Chicago in 1945 in the company of Jones and Little Walter. He worked for tips on Maxwell Street before graduating to the clubs playing with the likes of Sunnyland Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson and Lee Brown. Around 1947 he became one of the founding members of the fabled “Headhunters”, a group who included Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers and got their name for cutting the heads of any musicians foolish enough to cross their path. Foster first appeared on record in 1945 playing guitar on Lee Brown’s “My Little Girl Blues” on the Chicago label. He pops up again with Lee Brown on a 1946 date for the Queen label, Little Johnny Jones in 1949, J.B. Lenoir in 1950, Little Walter in 1948 and 1950, Floyd Jones in 1948, Muddy Waters in 1948 and 1949, Snooky Pryor in 1949, Mildred Richards in 1950 and Sunnyland Slim in 1948 and 1950; an impressive recording resumé.

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