Bob Stroger at the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival
Photo: Jesse Lirola/WireImage
Histories: Chicago Blues: Bob Stroger On His 60-Year Journey Singing The Blues
At 90 years old, Chicago blues electric bassist and singer/songwriter Bob Stroger still loves his job and is ready for more, even decades into his career. After moving from small-town Missouri to Chicago as a teen and seeing Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf tear up Silvio's club, he knew he was one day going to become a bluesman, too. While sometimes he got paid and sometimes he got stiffed for gigs, Stroger knew he'd finally made it when fellow blues artist Eddie King got him a show to play for $15.
In the latest episode of Histories: Chicago Blues, a new, limited-run video series presented by the Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter, Stroger talks about his upbringing in the Chicago blues scene, his days playing in Europe alongside Otis Rush, and his favorite part about being a musician: the smiles it provides for listeners.
Histories: Chicago Blues chronicles the story of Chicago blues as told by artists from across three generations of the blues who've helped shape the genre. The series, featuring interviews conducted by GRAMMY-nominated blues artist Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith, includes episodes with modern blues artist and Chicago native Melody Angel as well as GRAMMY-nominated Chicago blues harmonica maestro Billy Branch.
For the past 60 years, the Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter has recognized and celebrated the creative accomplishments of our members across the Midwest, fought for their collective rights, and supported them in times of need. We are proud of our legacies and excited to continue looking ahead. Here's to the next 60.