Known as the Father of Modern Blues Harp, Williamson was a blues harmonica player who popularized the instrument but was tragically murdered before gaining fame.
He was a harp prodigy in his teen years, learned the blues, and then settled in Chicago, where he got a recording contract in 1937.
His numerous recordings in the late 1930s and early 1940s became part of many blues musicians' repertoires, and his track "Shake That Boogie" became a national R&B hit.
He was born John Lee Williamson in Jackson, Tennessee.
Carey Bell was another Chicago blues harmonica player, influenced by Williamson's songs.