© 2024
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Regardless Of Leadership, The Teardrops Keep On Keeping On

Otávio Nogueira
Flickr - Creative Commons
Magic Slim pictured in 2008.

For many years the Teardrops were the backup band for the great Magic Slim (Morris Holt) but now are fronted by the late Slim's son Shawn Holt. No matter, Holt the younger can certainly deliver and the Teardrops have truly delivered since the 1960s.

Morris Holt was born in 1937 in Mississippi. Better known as Magic Slim, he started as a pianist, but had to switch to guitar after losing his little finger in a farm work accident. In 1955 he moved to Chicago and got a job playing bass for the man who gave Slim his nickname, Magic Sam.

Slim didn't make much of an impression this first time in Chicago and went back south, only returning to Chicago in 1965 where he formed Magic Slim and the Teardrops.


Magic Slim recorded the first time in 1966 and several more singles followed through the 1970s. During the same time the band played a number of Chicago juke joints and small clubs. His first full album came in 1977 and both the venues and number of followers grew. It was the 1980s that brought major success to Magic Slim and the Teardrops including a W. C. Handy Award. A number of talented players moved through the band over the years including guitarist John Primer who spent 13 years in the group.


Magic Slim is not the only member of the Holt family with talent. His brother Nick joined the band in 1970 and Slim's son Shawn Holt played with him near the end of Magic Slim's life. After Slim passed away in early 2013, Shawn Holt replaced his father as leader of the Teardrops.


Shortly after his death, Morris "Magic Slim" Holt received a posthumous 'Traditional Blues Male Artist Blues Music Award. Given his son Shawn Holt's level of talent, Slim's band, the Teardrops should keep up the great music for years to come.

Related Content