Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

Sam Myers (February 19, 1936 – July 17, 2006) was an American blues musician and songwriter.

He was born in Laurel, Mississippi. Myers appeared as an accompanist on dozens of recordings for blues artists over the past five decades, and fronted one of the top blues bands in the world. He began his career as a drummer for Elmore James but was most famous as a blues vocalist and blues harp player. Myers was in high demand for his authentic delta blues sound. For nearly two decades he was the featured vocalist for Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets.

Biography
Myers acquired an interest in music while a schoolboy in Jackson, Mississippi and became skilled enough at playing the trumpet and drums that he received a non-degree scholarship from the American Conservatory School of Music in Chicago. Myers attended school by day and at night frequented the nightclubs of the South Side of Chicago, meeting and sitting in with Jimmy Rogers, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Little Walter, Hound Dog Taylor, Lockwood.htm">Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Elmore James. Myers played drums with Elmore James on a fairly steady basis from 1952 until James's death in 1963, and is credited on many of James's historic recordings for Chess Records. In 1956, Myers wrote and recorded what was to be his most famous single, "Sleeping In The Ground", a song that has been covered by Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and many other blues artists, as well as being featured on Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour show on 'Sleep'.

From the early 1960s until 1986, Myers worked the clubs in and around Jackson as well as across the South in the Chitlin' Circuit. He even found himself touring the world with Sylvia Embry and the Mississippi All-Stars Blues Band.

In 1986, Sam met Anson Funderburgh, from Piano, Texas, and joined Anson’s band, The Rockets. Myers toured all over the U.S. and the world with The Rockets, enjoying a partnership that endured until the time of his death from complications from throat cancer surgery on July 17, 2006.

That same year, the University Press of Mississippi published Myers' autobiography titled Sam Myers: The Blues is My Story. Writer Jeff Horton, whose work has appeared in Blues Revue and Southwest Blues, chronicles Myers' history and delves into his memories of life on the road with other legendary blues artists.

Awards
Sam Myers Coming from the Old SchoolThe Rockets have been repeatedly acclaimed as one of the best live blues bands in existence. Myers and The Rockets collectively won nine W. C. Handy Awards, including three "Band of the Year" Awards and the 2004 Award for Best Traditional Album of the Year. In 2005, Myers was nominated for Traditional Blues Album of the Year for his record, Coming From The Old School.

In January 2000, Myers was inducted into the Farish Street Walk of Fame in Jackson, Mississippi, an honor he shares with Dorothy Moore and Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II). In 2006, just months before Myers died, the governor of Mississippi presented Myers with the prestigious Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and was named state Blues Ambassador by the Mississippi Arts Commission.