Funny how blues musicians have to be given nicknames in order to be recognized. This phenomenon occurs in other genres and of course, is rampant in athletes.
Leroy Cooper was dubbed by his high school band director as Hog. David Newman got his label, Fathead from that same man. Hank Crawford didn't use his first name which was Bennie. All of these are sax players that played with Ray Charles. Ernest Vantrease, keyboard player for Ray for almost 30 years, was dubbed The Deacon, although now that he's with B.B. King he is known by his given name.
Speaking of B.B. King, his real name is Riley B. King, but it is generally known that the B.B. stands for Blues Boy.
Buster Smith's given name was Henry. How 'bout this one? Antoine Dominique Domino became famous as Fats Domino.
Would blues fans recognize a song by Amos Blakemore? Would they know that Buddy Guy was the man performing it?
The list goes on and on and even in local blues bands, if you don't have a nickname you're not a 'cat' as Leroy would describe you. Here in Orlando, we have Mad Dog Mahoney, Mojo Jones, the Iceman, Birddog Bobby, Lil Mookie, and the list goes on.
Go ahead and show me what you know. Leave a comment with one that I've left out. There are plenty that have slipped my mind this morning -- it's Saturday and I was going to take the day off. Hah!