Lightnin' Slim was one of the greatest of southern bluesmen and a major influence on other bluesmen such as Buddy Guy and his younger brother Phil. Louisiana record producer Jay Miller testified "Lightnin' to me was the greatest...low-down gutbucket blues" while former manager Fred Reif says Lightnin' Slim was "one of the most significant bluesmen of his time".Born Otis Hicks on March 13th, 1913 in St Louis, Missouri, into a farming family, Lightnin' began to play guitar while a youngster. He was a farmer until 1946 when, disillusioned with the work, he moved to Baton Rouge in Louisiana to work in a fertiliser plant. He began playing local clubs and bought an electric guitar, soon finding himself a minor sensation in the area with his trademark slow, brooding blues.Discovered by local DJ Ray 'Diggie Doo' Meaders, he was introduced by him to producer Jay Miller in Crowley. The blues he recorded for Miller (which came out on Excello Records) between late 1956 and the summer of 1958 are among the classics of swamp blues, including Bad Luck, HaveYour Way, I'm Grown, Mean Ole Lonesome Train, Love Me Mama, I'm A Rollin' Stone, Hoo-Doo Blues and It's Mighty Crazy. The accompanying groups (usually no more than harmonica and drums) feature the fine harmonica playing of either Schoolboy Cleve or Lazy Lester, but it is Lightnin's raw, down-home singing, guitar playing and songwriting that hold centre stage.