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Leroy Foster biography



"Baby Face" Leroy Foster (February 1, 1923 - May 26, 1958) was an American blues singer, drummer and guitarist, active in Chicago from the mid 1940s until the late 1950s. He was a significant figure in the development of the post-war electric Chicago blues sound, most notably as a member of the Muddy Waters band during its formative years. Life and career Foster was born in Algoma, Mississippi. He moved to Chicago in the mid 1940s, and by 1946 was working with pianist Sunnyland Slim and harmonica player John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson. Foster’s first recordings were made with pianist Lee Brown in 1945 for J. Mayo Williams' Chicago label. In 1946, he appeared on another session with Lee Brown and recorded with James "Beale Street" Clark for Columbia. He also accompanied Sunnyland Slim on a 1947 or 1948 session for the Opera label. Further recordings followed, both under his own name and backing Sunnyland Slim, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and pianist Johnny Jones, before his most notable session, for the Parkway label in 1950. This session featured the personnel of Muddy Waters' band of the time: Foster, Waters, Little Walter and (on two tracks only, since he was late for the session), Jimmy Rogers. After the Parkway session, Foster left Waters’ band, possibly in the hope of a solo career resulting from the releases on Parkway, but unfortunately the label soon folded. Afterwards, Foster recorded a further three sessions under his own name for the JOB label between 1950 and 1953, but died from a heart attack, possibly as a result of alcoholism, at the age of 35 in 1958. Foster sang in a style influenced by Sonny Boy Williamson and Dr. Clayton,