Sam Lay (Born March 20, 1935, Birmingham, AL, Died January 29, 2022, Chicago, IL) was a legendary Chicago blues drummer, vocalist and band leader best known for his work with Howlin’ Wolf, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The James Cotton Blues Band, Muddy Waters, Siegal/Schwall, Bob Dylan, Chicago Blues Reunion and others.
Sam Lay photo by Doug Fulton.
A very young photo of the legendary Sam Lay.
Sam Lay in his Ohio days before coming to Chicago with the band The Thunderbirds.
Sam Lay performing at Newport with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band with Sam Lay on drums at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
The Paul Butterfield blues band with Sam Lay on drums rehearsing with Bob Dylan for their appearance later that night at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
Michael Bloomfield, Sam Lay, Jerome Arnold, Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Photo courtesy Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
Sam Lay at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival
Sam Lay at the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. Sam played drums behind Magic Sam and Lightnin’ Hopkins that year. Photo Tom Copi, courtesy Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
The original James Cotton Blues Band. James Cotton, Alberto Gianquino, Luther Tucker, Sam Lay, Bobby Anderson. Photo courtesy Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
The Sam Lay Blues Band
The Siegal/Schwall Band. Rollo Radford, Sam Lay, Corky Siegal, Jim Schwall.
The Siegel Schwall Band: Rollo Radford, Corky Siegel, Sam Lay, Jim Schwall. Photo courtesy Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Sam Lay, Phil Guy, Bob Stroger in front of the Sam Lay limo. Photo by Robert Pasenko.
Sam Lay in the recording studio. Photo by David Gahr.
Sam Lay photo by David Gahr.
Sam Lay at the 1991 Chicago Blues Festival. Photo Rien Wisse.
Tail Dragger session for Johnny Burgin’s first Delmark Album, November, 1997. Left to right: Willie Young, Tail Dragger, Illinois Slim, Sam Lay, Johnny Burgin, Martin Lang, Sho Kimiya. Photo by Larry Arnett.
Tail Dragger at Delmark Studios with Willie Young, Illinois Slim, and Sam Lay. Photo courtesy Illinois Slim.
Sam Lay at the Rhythm Room, late 1990s. Photo by Drew Verbis.
Bob Dylan and Sam Lay reunite backstage after a 1998 Dylan Show in Chicago. Photo courtesy Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
Sam Lay, Bob Stroger, Jimmy D. Lane, Wild Child Butler in 2000. Photo Peter Damroth.
Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Rob Stone and Sam Lay (seated) promo photo. This great version of the Sam Lay Blues Band had a nice run of touring for a number of years. Photo courtesy of Chris James.
Lester Davenport, Sam Lay, Aron Burton. Photo Gérard Doidy.
Sam Lay at the Chicago Blues Festival. Photo Gérard Doidy.
Sam Lay in session at Tempest Recording. Photo by Dick Rice.
Bob Corritore, Hugh Southard, Bob Margolin, Mud Morganfield, Sam Lay performing at Fitzgeralds for the Hubert Sumlin repast.
Sam Lay and Bob Corritore performing at the 2012 Chicago Blues Festival as part of The Bob Riedy Blues Band. J.R. Wydra is the guitarist.
Bob Corritore and Sam Lay performing at Del Rae’s Chicken Basket. Photo by Daniel Swadener.
2013 Chicago Blues Festival, Bob Corritore, Jon Hiller, Sam Lay, Mark Wydra, Bob Riedy. Photo by Marilyn Stringer.
David Katzman, Bob Corritore, Sam Lay, Mark Wydra, Chicago Blues Festival. Photo by Gerard Doidy.
Chicago Blues Festival with the Bob Riedy Blues Band.
The Siegal/Schwall Band. Photo courtesy Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
Sam Lay at the Chicago Blues Festival! Photo by Bob Corritore.
Sam Lay and Bob Corritore at the Chicago Blues Fest
Sam Lay photo by Daniel Swadener.
Sam Lay photo by Daniel Swadener.
Bob Corritore and Sam Lay. Photo Daniel Swadener.
Photo by Roger Stephanson.
Sam Lay holding up a photo of himself with Bruce Willis. Photo Bob Margolin.
Sam Lay with the Bob Riedy Blues Band.
Sam Lay, of The Butterfield Blues Band, speaks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Saturday on April 18, 2015 in Cleveland. (Mark Duncan, AP)
Sam Lay, Mark Hummel, Billy Boy Arnold backstage at SPACE in Evanston, 2017. Photo by Holly Siegel.
Sam Lay and Tracy Nelson 2018 Memphis. Photo by Bob Corritore.
Photo by Nanny Kajuiter
Here is the handbill for the 1969 concert from which the live parts of the album Fathers And Sons were recorded. Courtesy Timm Martin.