Big Windy Man

img_0507a2webUpon graduating from high school in the 1950s, Big Windy Man traveled from his native West Virginia to Columbus, OH, the northern metropolis where his sister lived. He arrived with talent, ambition and a homegrown appreciation for Tennessee Ernie Ford.

“He sung about the coal mines,” says Big Windy. “That’s where I grew up.”

After he won a few singing contests at the nearby 502 Club, Windy joined a band, and “traveled on the road with them a little bit.”

In 1965, he came to Chicago and began playing “all over the city.” He favors the chrome passage under the Wabash Bridge.

“I like the acoustics and I like the people,” he says. “They’re real cool, man.”

— Daniel Patton

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