Sherman Shelby Jr.

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CHICAGO — Sherman Shelby Jr. of Chicago, formerly of Vicksburg, died Wednesday, July 2, 2014. He was 70.

Mr. Shelby was born in Vicksburg on Oct. 10, 1943, to Sherman and Rose Ethel Shelby, and attended St. Mary Catholic School and Vicksburg public schools.

Known professionally as “Nick Charles,” he was an international musician and bass player, who left Vicksburg at age 15 to play music professionally. He was brought to Chicago by blues legend Howlin’ Wolf, who gave Sherman his first bass guitar and amplifier.

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During his career, he played with Howlin’ Wolf,  B.B. King, Tina Turner, Eddie Shaw, Earl Hooker, L.V. Banks, Roy Hytower, Son Seals, Valerie Wellington and the Rolling Stones. The last 20 years of his career, he played with Billy Branch, a three-time Grammy nominee and a retired Grammy governor who was discovered by Willie Dixon, the “father of modern Chicago Blues.”

Survivors include his wife, Diane of Chicago; three children, Cynthia of Yazoo City, Nick of Texas, and Nickey of Chicago; three sisters, Charlie Mae Anderson, Rosemary Johnson, and Barbara Jean Shelby, all of Vicksburg; and other relatives, including the Anderson, Johnson, Shelby, Caldwell, and Gibbs families.

Services were under the direction of Gatlin Funeral Home of Chicago.