Samuel Gene Maghett a.k.a. Magic Sam was born in Grenada, Ms. in 1937. Sam learned to play the Blues by listening to Muddy Waters and Little Walter. In 1956 Sam moved to Chicago and signed with Cobra Records. His singles included “All Your Love” and Willie Dixon’s “Easy Baby”.
In 1963 Sam gained national attention with another single “Feelin’ Good (We’re Gonna Boogie)”. In 1967 after a successful European tour Sam signed with Delmark Records and released his first full length studio recording “West Side Soul”. Sam differed from other blues singers as his soulful voice had a higher register.
Magic Sam’s performance at the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival was a huge success. Sam released his second Delmark Records recording “Black Magic” in November of 1969. The Magic Sam Blues Band included Magic Sam Maghett, vocals and guitar; Mighty Joe Young, guitar; Eddie Shaw, tenor sax; Lafayette Leake, piano; Mac Thompson, bass; and Odie Payne, Jr., drums.
A previous re-issue was nominated for a Blues Music Award in 1995. This album opens with Roscoe Gordon’s “I Just Want a Little Bit”. Magic Sam originals included are “What Have I Done Wrong”, “You Belong To Me”, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” and “Blues for Odie Payne” which was added on the first re-issue. Also included are producer Dixon’s “Easy Baby”, Lowell Fulson’s “It’s All Your Fault Baby”, Freddie King’s “San-Ho-Zay” and Don Nix’s “Same Old Blues”. The original tracks are augmented with alternate takes.
Unfortunately Magic Sam Maghett died of a heart attack on December 1st 1969 only days after the albums release. In February, following Magic Sam’s death, a tribute concert was held featuring The Paul Butterfield Blues Band with Michael Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Nick Gravenites and Charlie Musselwhite.
“Black Magic” is historical. It is blues treasure.