Many families have them. Pugilists, presidents, boxers, gangsters, ballplayers, punks, authors, rappers, sultans and emperors alike are often bequeathed those small familiarities we call nicknames. Whether describing a physical trait, a habit or tic, a locale or one's royal aptitude on a particular instrument, jazz and blues musicians have never lacked for nicknames. These simple monikers offered a quick way to remember a person, their personality and appearance and as a result we are left with a colorful and intriguing list of sobriquets.
A sampling: Tiny, Slim, Fats, Pops, King, Duke, Prince, Prez, Smack, Diz, Mezz, Bean, Queen, Big, Little, Stump and Hamtree.
Champion, Skitch, Cannonball, Mr. Cleanhead, Bud, Buddy, Peanuts, Gatemouth, Memphis, Lil, Kansas, Hootie, Red, Snags and Blood.
Slick, Philly, Lucky, Fathead, Illinois, Hi, Dink, Bunk, Jellyroll, Kokomo, Texas, Posey, Lemon, Bags, Softie, Hawk, Ma and Chubby.
Bull Moose, Sonny, Pee Wee, Furry, Spike, Lightnin', Tubby, Rabbit, Big Eyes, Chippie, Fatha, Monk, Skip, Papa and Little Brother.
Big Chief, Brew, Cootie, Lord, Doc, Tampa, Satch, Muggsy, Shorty, Screamin', Howlin', Half Pint, Wild, Yack, Yank, Stovepipe and Stuff.
Kid, Sleepy, River, Mooch, Pinetop, Mississippi, Long, Jabo, Big Foot, Muddy, Corky, Lazy, Skip, Baby, Sweets, Cutty, Sunny and Zutty.