Drummer Sam Lay died at the age of 88 on Saturday, Fox News reported.
Lay. a blues drummer and vocalist, was best known for his time playing with Bob Dylan.
In addition, he drummed for Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
Lay died of natural causes, according to his label, Alligator Records.
According to music publication Pitchfork, he was having heart issues and was taken to a nursing facility near his home in Chicago. He died shortly after arrival.
Lay began drumming in the 1950s in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Chicago, where he was a member of Howlin’ Wolf’s band.
He did drum work on Bob Dylan’s landmark 1965 album “Highway 61 Revisited.”
In addition, he was behind the drums during the legendary 1965 Newport Folk Festival appearance where Dylan went electric and horrified folk purists in attendance.
Lay’s label, Alligator Records, said the drummer was known for his “trademark, hard-to-copy ‘double-shuffle’” drumming, based on the rhythms of clapping in church he learned during his childhood.
“In recent years, Lay served as the last living link between the present and the late musicians that had shaped the blues,” Pitchfork reported.
“He was nominated for a Grammy in 1998 for his performances on the ‘Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf’ compilation. In 2003, Lay was featured in Martin Scorcese’s PBS documentary series ‘The History of the Blues,’ and he was the subject of the 2009 documentary ‘Sam Lay in Bluesland.’
“He last performed in 2018 at the Chicago Blues Festival.”
He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 2015.
“Words can’t describe it if you like blues like I do,” Lay said at the time.
“I enjoyed the moment of it, and everybody that was in that band, I enjoyed,” he continued.
“I learned a lot from everybody in there, and they claim they learned a lot from me.”