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Hip Linkchain (November 10, 1936 – February 13, 1989) was an American Chicago blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.
He was born Willie Richard in Jackson, Mississippi, United States. His stage name was in deference to his father's nickname of 'Linkchain', due to his habit of sporting logging chains around his neck, and the boy's own childhood nickname of 'Hipstick'. He was inspired by the blues playing of Sonny Boy Williamson II, Elmore James and Little Milton, all of whom Linkchain heard in the Mississippi delta, prior to him relocating to Chicago, Illinois, in 1954. He had been raised in Louise, Mississippi, and picked cotton before his move north. Linkchain found regular employment playing blues guitar in the clubs of Chicago throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and he variously worked with the harmonica players, Lester Davenport, Dusty Brown, and Willie Foster.
By 1959, Linkchain had formed his own band known as the Chicago Twisters, who had Tyrone Davis as their frontman. Linkchain recorded spasmodically, mainly for small independent record labels based in Chicago, and a handful of his singles were released in the 1960s. It was not until 1983 that Linkchain saw his debut album issued, when the small Teardrop Records outfit released Change My Blues. The recording saw Linkchain play alongside Pinetop Perkins (piano), Rich Kirch (guitar), Right Hand Frank Bandy (bass) and Fred Grady (drums).
His best known album, Airbusters, was originally released by the Netherlands based Black Magic record label in 1988. It was re-issued on the Evidence label, but Linkchain was to experience only a short period of fame, before his death from cancer in Chicago in February 1989.
His best known numbers were "Change My Blues" and "That Will Never Do". Allmusic described him as a "solid, no-frills bluesman". Another music journalist noted, "his composer's talents put him much above the average bluesmen". Linkchain variously worked with Lester Davenport, Pinetop Perkins, Tyrone Davis, and Little Walter. Read more about Hip Linkchain on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.