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Billy Branch’s talent led him to play professionally for Blues legend Willie Dixon and the Chicago Blues All-Stars for six years. (WTTW News)

He has been playing the mouth harp since he bought his very first one at age 11 for just $1. But he’s not just a musician. We talk with Billy Branch about his mission to give blues the recognition it deserves.

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Erwin Helfer in 2001. (Credit: Paul Natkin)

There are many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has turned people’s lives upside down. This is the story of the emotional devastation — and recovery — experienced by beloved local musician Erwin Helfer.

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The North Kenwood house Muddy Waters bought will be preserved as a museum, recording studio and more. (WTTW News)

A museum honoring the “father of modern Chicago blues” is headed to North Kenwood. Family members of the late musician Muddy Waters tell us what’s in store for the MOJO Museum.

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Chicago musician Dave Specter speaks with WTTW News outside Delmark Records.

It makes sense that a veteran Chicago blues and jazz musician is on the city’s oldest blues and jazz record label. We visit Dave Specter and Delmark Records for a look back — and forward.

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Toronzo Cannon (WTTW News)

Bus drivers have a tough job these days. And musicians are pretty much out of work. We spoke with one CTA driver who is also a songwriter with a new record. He drives people all over town, but right now he can’t play for the people. 

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Christone “Kingfish” Ingram (WTTW News)

Buddy Guy called him “the next explosion of the blues” when he was still a teenager. The debut album by Christone “Kingfish” Ingram arrived this summer on Chicago’s Alligator Records – and this week earned a Grammy nomination.

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Isaiah Collier (WTTW News)

With a new record in the wings – and concerts around the world – one of Chicago’s hidden musical talents is increasingly becoming not so hidden. He recently turned 21 years old – but musically, Isaiah Collier is an old soul. 

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In 1971, Bruce Iglauer founded a Chicago record company that would reach a worldwide audience. We look back at 50 years of the blues.

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From left: Theo Huff (obscured), Rick Stone, Dwight Neal, Lamont “Harmonica Man” Harris, Cynthia Carter and Rhonda Preston in “Rick Stone the Blues Man” at Black Ensemble Theater. (Credit: Alan Davis)

In her deftly crafted new show, “Rick Stone the Blues Man,” writer/director Jackie Taylor has devised a wonderfully engaging way to explore the full spectrum of blues classics.

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Delmark Records founder Bob Koester (Courtesy City of Chicago)

We stop by Delmark Records, where a blues summit took place this week in preparation for the 35th annual Chicago Blues Festival in Millennium Park.

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Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater appears on “Chicago Tonight” in 2008.

Alligator recording artist and 2016 Blues Hall of Fame inductee Edward Harrington, aka Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, died Friday of heart failure, his family reports. He was 83 years old.

Picturing Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and More

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Portrait of Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett) at his home during an interview with Mike Bloomfield, Chicago, Illinois, 1964. Raeburn Flerlage image, colorized.

His photographs captured a key moment in time. A new exhibition looks at the history and legacy of the Chicago blues through the lens of Raeburn “Ray” Flerlage.

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The Chicago singer and guitarist known for his unique take on the blues died Saturday. He was 83.

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Sam Lay (Courtesy “Sam Lay in Bluesland”)

Celebrating the life and musical legacy of Chicago blues legend Sam Lay.

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A new book looks at the visual art associated with the blues over the course of its dynamic history. 

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A Chicago master of blues and boogie-woogie piano joins us in conversation and performance.