Jimmy Reed was born in 1925 on a plantation in Mississippi. He learned how to play guitar and harmonica from his friend Eddie Taylor, who was just starting to find success as a musician. After a brief stint in the Navy, Jimmy ended up in Indiana and started to break into the blues scene around Indiana and Chicago. He started playing as a side man in John Brim’s band, and it’s interesting to note that the drummer was future blues icon Albert King. Reed eventually reconnected with Eddie Taylor and created a musical partnership which lasted the duration of his life. Their big break was the song You Don’t Have to Go along with the B side Boogie in the Dark, which charted very high on the Billboard R&B charts. This success was also combined with Reed’s decline into alcoholism, which eventually impaired his ability to be on stage. His mainstream success allowed him to sell more records than such blues greats as Elmore James, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf. Jimmy’s biggest singles include Big Boss Man and Bright Lights, Big City. Reed died of respiratory complications in 1976 after abusing alcohol for many years. We recommend starting your Jimmy Reed vinyl collection with the essential Rockin’ with Reed from his Vee Jay Records label. Our LP inventory is constantly changing, so check back often, or browse our list of vinyl from blues musicians.