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Albert "Sunnyland Slim" Luandrew (September 5, 1907 – March 17, 1995) was an American blues pianist, who was born in the Mississippi Delta and later moved to Chicago, to contribute to that city's post-war scene as a center for blues music.[1] Chicago's broadcaster and writer, Studs Terkel, said Sunnyland Slim was "a living piece of our folk history, gallantly and eloquently carrying on in the old tradition."[2]



He was born on a farm near Vance, Mississippi.[2] He moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1925, where he performed with many of the popular blues musicians of the day. His stage name came from a song he composed about the Sunnyland train that ran between Memphis and St. Louis, Missouri.[2] In 1942 he followed the great migration of southern workers to the industrial north in Chicago.

At that time the electric blues was taking shape there, and through the years Sunnyland Slim played with such musicians as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf,[3] Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Little Walter.[2] His piano style is characterised by heavy basses or vamping chords in the left hand and tremolos with his right. His voice was loud and he sang in a declamatory style.[4]

He began recording in 1946 (his first solo date was in 1947) and continued performing until his death, aged 87.

He had released one record on RCA Victor using the moniker 'Dr. Clayton's Buddy': "Illinois Central" b/w "Sweet Lucy Blues" (Victor 20-2733).


In 1988 he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship.[2] His influence as one of the most influential blues pianists is still felt today, as the Chicago Blues Festival often holds tributes to Slim.


  1. ^ "Sunnyland Slim - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2008-06-05.  
  2. ^ a b c d e Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 171. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.  
  3. ^ Youtube video (credits)
  4. ^ Oliver, Paul (1984). Blues Off the Record:Thirty Years of Plue Commentary. New York: Da Capo. pp. 201–203. ISBN 0-306-80321-6.  

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