Blues guitarist Luther Tucker, who emerged in the Chicago club scene in the 1950s and went on to play with John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Cotton, Elvin Bishop and others, died June 17. He was 57.
Tucker suffered a heart attack in San Rafael and died at a hospital, said Richard Siefer, a longtime friend.
If others became the stars it was only because of Tucker’s disposition, said Bishop, who had Tucker play on several of his records.
“His status as a sideman was determined more by his personality than his talent,” said Bishop, who lives near Tucker’s Northern California home.
Tucker was born Jan. 20, 1936, in Memphis, Tenn., and grew up in Chicago.
For about 18 years Tucker was an annual performer at Anton’s, the Austin, Texas, blues club where he, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Cotton recorded Cotton’s “Live at Anton’s” album which received a 1988 Grammy nomination.
A memorial will be held in Chicago, where he will be buried next to his mother. Bishop and others said benefits will be held to pay funeral costs.
Married twice and the father of two children, Tucker died in the arms of his companion, Jill Baxter.