Blues musician Mississippi Slim dead at 66

April 19, 2010 in News, Obituaries

GREENVILLE – A popular blues musician from Mississippi and Chicago, known for his bright hair and mismatch socks and shoes has died. Walter Horn, better known as Mississippi Slim, passed away last week in Greenville. Horn was 66.

Horn was born in Shelby, Miss., on Aug. 13, 1943, and grew up in Greenville attending public schools. During his early 20s, Horn worked as a tractor driver on a plantation during the day and honed his skills as a blues singer at night performing at local clubs on Nelson Street.

Horn decided to pursue a full-time career in music and moved to Chicago in 1968. He immediately changed his stage name to Mississippi Slim.

Touring with Junior Wells and other well known acts on Chicago’s west side, Horn’s reputation as a great blues artist quickly grew among his critics and his contemporaries.

Often compared to the likes of Z.Z. Hill and Johnnie Taylor, Horn soon carved his own niche in the blues industry recording his first single, “Crying in The Arms of Another Love,” for the Sunflower label in 1974.

In 1994, Horn returned to his native Greenville to care for his aging mother, but continued to perform regularly at local clubs and social events in the Mississippi Delta and surrounding areas.

In 1996, Horn teamed up with fellow musician, John Horton, and performed at the Mississippi Blues and Heritage Festival.

Because of that partnership, Horn was asked to participate in the Arts In Education: “Blues In Schools” project where students learned about the culture of the blues during Blues Week. Horn penned a special song for the event, “Get Your Education,” which he performed for his young audience.

In 1999, Horn recorded a CD entitled, Miracles, with LaJam Records in Jackson, Miss., and he was set to release his second CD, Cotton Candy Love, later this year.

A week before his death, Horn taped his last known television interview for Delta Renaissance on Delta Fox 10, hosted by cultural arts advocate C. Sade Turnipseed. The episode aired on Sat., April 17.

Funeral arrangements for Horn are pending.