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Blues Legend David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards Dies

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David "Honeyboy" Edwards

David “Honeyboy” Edwards (Credit: AP)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago has lost one of its last connections to the earliest days of the Delta blues.

Grammy winner David “Honeyboy” Edwards died Monday at his home in Chicago. He was 96.

Edwards was believed to be the oldest surviving Delta bluesman. He was born in 1915 in Shaw, Miss., and his father, a guitarist and violinist, bought him a guitar for $4 from a plantation worker. It led to Edwards’ leaving home at age 14 to travel with bluesman Big Joe Williams.

Edwards was also directly linked to blues legend Robert Johnson, with whom he played in the 1930s. Edwards was present when Johnson drank the tainted whiskey that sent him to an early grave at the age of 27.

Edwards also played with a number of other noted blues musicians, including Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and Muddy Waters. Among Edwards’ hit songs were “Long Tall Woman Blues,” “Gamblin Man” and “Just Like Jesse James.”

Edwards won a 2008 Grammy for traditional blues album and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2010.

He had been scheduled to play at the Blues Festival in Grant Park this past June, which this year honored what would have been the 100th birthday of Robert Johnson. But Edwards was too ill to appear.

A funeral for Edwards is planned for Thursday.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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