George “Buddy” Guy was born on July 30, 1936, in Lettsworth, Louisiana. Guy started playing music on a diddley bow, a small stringed instrument that he made himself using wire, a piece of wood, and his mother’s hairpins. His parents were sharecroppers, and though they had little money, Guy’s father bought a guitar from another fieldhand so he could keep learning. As a teenager, Guy began performing in Baton Rouge, then moved to Chicago at the age of 21.
He befriended other musicians who had come to Chicago from the south and began recording albums. Guy went on to become one of the most influential musicians in Chicago, and his style continues to inspire musicians today. (In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked him #23 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.)
Though today Buddy Guy is most often associated with Chicago, his childhood home has been preserved as part of the Mississippi Blues Trail.