RIP: Mighty Joe Young, Jr.

June 11, 2009 – Mighty Joe Young, Jr. a Chicago Blues notable quietly slipped away from us in the pre-dawn hours after 3:00 a.m. following a harrowing bout with terminal pancreatic cancer. The International Blues Community took two hits in as many weeks with first the legendary Koko Taylor’s passing last week and now Young’s untimely death.

Young was the son of the late Mighty Joe Young, Sr. (Blind Pig Records). His guitar can be heard on his father’s recordings. He shared the stage with the Queen of the Blues herself on more than one occasion, as well as with such powerhouses as Roy Hytower (the root doctor), his renowned father & many others.

Mighty Joe Young, Jr. will lie in state Friday June 12, 2009 at Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel 1001 Madison in Maywood, IL 60153 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Funeral Services are at Corbin on Saturday 10:00 a.m. – Noon.

Singer, Songwriter, Musician Mighty Joe Young, Jr. began his love affair with the guitar when his older brother Earl realized she wasn’t the girl for him and introduced the siren to his younger brother.

Like his famous father the late Mighty Joe Young, Sr., Joe was a natural and was wed to his music ever since. Flourishing under the tutelage of his father, Joe formed his first band while still in high school.

After marrying and starting a family, Joe traveled around the country with his father performing and honing his chops playing rhythm and lead guitar. His powerful sound has been featured on studio sessions for his late father Mighty Joe Young, Sr. and on varied projects for other artists.

Joe burned up the Chicago blues scene for several decades. Gifted with the phenomenal ability to play music by ear, Joe was at ease playing everything from cool jazz to hot soul, but the melodies of white-hot electric blues fueled his performances.

Joe’s band included some of Chicago’s best musicians who formed the Mighty Joe Young Rhythm & Blues Band. Continuing the family tradition, his own daughters Leah Chanelle & Chontella Renee along with his granddaughters Natalia Renee & LaDonna Chanelle often accompanied him on stage.

Throughout his career Joe headlined many events including the 24th Annual Blues Festival in June 2007. He played such stellar venues as the Isaac Hayes Club, Buddy Guy’s Legends, Famous Dave’s, Koko Taylor’s Celebrity, Blues Etcetera, Frankie’s Blues Room to name a few in the Chicago land area. He also played an assortment of national venues & corporate affairs.

Joseph Young, Jr. was born the second child to the late Mighty Joe Young, Sr. and Lorene Sneed Young in Milwaukee, Wisconsin November 14, 1948. Both parents made their celestial transition before him.

Joseph married in July 1967 to Lavera Levy and was later divorced. There were three children born to their union. Joseph & Lavera remained friends.

Joseph attended Richard Crane High School where he was a good student, but exhibited a much more keen interest in studying music than the three “R’s”. Throughout his youth “Joe Joe” (as he was affectionately called) competed successfully in numerous showcases and talent shows.

In 1999, Joe became a founding member of The Mighty Joe Young Blues Foundation where he served on the Board of Directors until 2002. Each year Joe spearheaded an annual Tribute Show in honor of his late father the legendary Mighty Joe Young, Sr.

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