Historic Locations

Chicago has a long and storied history in the blues. When musicians migrated here during the Great Migration, they needed places to go to blow off steam after putting in long hours at factory jobs or (as Buddy Guy tells it- his job as a tow truck driver). So bars all over the south and west side started putting in stages and sound systems and the Chicago sound was born. Later as the clubs started closing, blues was “discovered” by people on the north side and clubs started opening there. We have gathered a group of historians known worldwide as experts on that era to put together a list and tell some stories.

The experts are:
Richard Shurman, noted blues music producer and journalist who frequented the south side venues cutting his teeth in the blues world while going to school at the University of Chicago.

Scott Dirks is a former DJ on WLUP Chicago (The Loop). He is also an accomplished harmonica player, a journalist, and the author (along with Tony Glover and Ward Gaines of the book  Blues with a Feeling: The Little Walter Story (2002)

Bruce Iglauer is the founder and president of Alligator Records


Little Walter’s apartment    8125 S. Vernon
Building owned by Dinah Washington

Otis Rush’s Apartment   4803 S. Indiana
Above Theresa’s

Bob, Dave, and Louis Myers first residence in Chicago   3946 S. Indiana

Muddy Waters first two apartments   1851 and 1857 W. 13th

Howlin Wolf’s House   829 E. 88th

Little Milton’s House   88th and Ridgeland

Billy Boy Arnold’s House   89th and Cregier

Otis Rush’s House   1411 E 72nd

Dave Myers’ house   1301 E. 72nd

Junior Wells and Buddy Guy’s House   1 E 72nd

Apartment that Elmore James first resided in Chicago in the early ’50s.   4714 S. Evans 

Big Bill Broonzy’s apartment   west side of King Drive just south of 47th
across from the old Regal 4708 S. King Dr.

Sonny BoyWilliamson’s House   3226 S. Giles

The home in 1968 of Little Walter Jacobs   209 E. 54th St
He lived–and died–in the now-abandoned second floor rear apartment on the 54th St. side.

Sunnyland Slim’s apartment and rehearsal space in the ’40s and ’50s;   at 216 E. 31st St.

Tampa Red’s basement apartment   227 E. 31st

Big Walter Horton’s home in the ’60s and ’70s   3417 S. Giles 

Muddy Waters’ first temporary residence in Chicago   3652 S. Calumet Ave.

Muddy Waters’ home    4339 S. Lake Park
This was Muddy Waters home until he moved to the suburbs late in his life. He kept several bedrooms in the basement for touring musicians to live in. His band also rehearsed in the basement, providing a free concert most nights fort the neighborhood. The house is currently being renovated and turned into a museum. 

Homesick James Williamson’s home   1503 N. Wieland 
The site of Elmore James’ death