One of the best music memoirs you’ll read this year is Buddy Guy’s When I Left Home: My Story. It tells his incredible saga, of moving from rural Louisiana to Chicago, where he played guitar for blues legends like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf before going on to become a solo artist in his own right.
Guy finished writing the book last year, so it doesn’t include a more recent, but very monumental, event in his life. On February 21st, Guy was part of a group of musicians who performed at the White House as part of a salute to blues music. The night’s all-star lineup included Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, and Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band – and President Obama, fresh off his “Let’s Stay Together” cover at a January fundraiser at the Apollo Theater.
While Jagger passed the mic off to Obama that night, it was Guy who convinced the president to perform with the group for “Sweet Home Chicago,” the anthem of his hometown. Since this story wasn’t in the book, CBS Local asked him about how it all went down. Guy acknowledges his roots, calling the White House gig a thrill – and “a long way from pickin’ cotton!” Watch below.
Buddy Guy is touring the U.S. in August and September. When I Left Home: My Story is in book stores now.
- Brian Ives, CBS Local