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QUEst for Blackness – September 2013 (Answers)

Please submit your answers to the Chair ( by the end of the month.  Make sure you give your full name and your chapter.


QUEst #1: I made my way to Chicago, where I won the Illinois State Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship. I might have been a successful boxer, but I turned to music instead.

I was one of the first professional blues songwriters to benefit in a serious way and I had to fight to do it. I was a producer, songwriter, bassist, and singer. I helped folks like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and others find their most commercially successful voices.

I don’t have the blues because I’m Black! Who am I?

QUEst #2:  I was an American blues musician who is considered the “father of modern Chicago blues“. I was a major inspiration for the British blues explosion in the 1960s and was ranked in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

I began to play the harmonica around the age of 5, and became quite good. I received my first guitar at age 17, and taught myself to play by listening to recordings of Mississippi blues legends. Although I spent countless hours working as a sharecropper at a cotton plantation, I found time to entertain folks around town with my music.

Omega men, are we entertaining BLACK people with ignorance? Who am I?

ANS: McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield (Source:

QUEst #3:  I first started playing in the early ‘30s, rocking the juke joints with a neck-rack harmonica and one of the first electric guitars anyone had ever seen. After a four-year stretch in the army, I settled down as a farmer and weekend player in West Memphis, AR.

By 1948, I had established myself within the community as a radio personality. As a means of advertising my own appearances, I had a 15-minute radio show in West Memphis interspersing my down-home blues with farm reports and like-minded advertising that I sold myself.

I proudly made the following statement, “I had a $4000 car and $3900 in my pocket. I’m the onliest one drove out of the South like a gentleman.”

Are Omega men currently known as gentlemen? Who am I?

ANS: Chester Arthur “Howlin Wolf” Burnett (Source:

QUEst #4:  I’m known as an American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Rolling Stone magazine ranked me on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time and I was ranked on Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. I “introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed.” I was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time. I mixed blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing …”

I was born in a small cabin on a cotton plantation Mississippi. When I was four years old, my father abandoned our family, and my mother married another man. Because my mother was too poor to raise me, I was raised by my maternal grandmother. I grew up singing in the gospel choir. At the age of 12, I purchased my first guitar for $15.00.  In 1943, I left to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with a famous quartet, performing at area churches.

“Once I’d heard him for the first time, I knew I’d have to have [an electric guitar] myself. Had to have one, short of stealing!”, I said.

Omega men once you hear the truth, don’t want more of it?  Who am I?

ANS: Riley B. “Blues Boy” King (Source:

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