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Matt “Guitar” Murphy (1929 – 2018), Blues Brothers guitarist

Leon Morris / Redferns / Getty Images

Also performed with Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf

Matt “Guitar” Murphy, blues sideman who played with the Blues Brothers and legends like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, died Friday, June 15, 2018, according to multiple news sources. He was 88.

“He was a strong man that lived a long long fruitfull life that poured his heart out in every guitar solo he took,” his nephew, Floyd Murphy Jr., wrote on Facebook.


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Murphy is fondly remembered for playing Aretha Franklin’s soul food-cooking husband, and target of her memorable performance of “Think” in “The Blues Brothers” movie.

He began playing with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd after they caught him performing in a New York City club in 1978. By that time, he was already a veteran bluesman, having come up through the Chicago blues scene during the 1950s. He joined the Blues Brothers all-star band and appeared in their 1980 film as well as its 1998 sequel, “Blues Brothers 2000.”

Other musicians he worked with included Ike Turner, Etta James, James Cotton, Willie Dixon, and Sonny Boy Williamson.

Murphy was born Dec. 29, 1929 in Sunflower, Mississippi, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He moved to Chicago in 1948 and joined Howlin’ Wolf’s band.

He suffered a stroke in 2002 that forced him into semi-retirement, though he still performed publicly on rare occasions.

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