George “Buddy” Guy started working as a sideman for Chess Records in 1959 and quickly became a much sought-after guitarist, working with the likes of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Howlin’ Wolf. During the 1970s he toured and recorded with Junior Wells, and although the duo was revered in blues circles—they even opened for The Rolling Stones on several occasions—their records were often badly distributed and sold poorly.
But during the 1980s Guy’s reputation grew steadily, and in 1985 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. By the 1990s he had become an electric guitar icon, having been cited as a major influence by legendary rock guitarists including Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton.
This according to “Guy, George ‘Buddy’” by Yves Laberge (Encyclopedia of the blues II  pp. 395–396); this encyclopedia is one of many resources included in RILM music encyclopedias, an ever-expanding full-text compilation of reference works.
Today is Guy’s 80th birthday! Above, with Clapton in 2011; below, live in 2010.
BONUS: Stone crazy from 1961, ranked 78th in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitar songs of all time.
Junior Wells began working as a street musician when he was 7 years old, and when he was 18 he replaced Little Walter as Muddy Waters’s harmonica player.
In 1958 he started performing with the guitarist Buddy Guy, and their band became a fixture on the blues circuit until they went separate ways in 1978.
Some of Wells’s best recorded work came during this time, on tight, exciting records made for Delmark, like the 1965 Hoodoo man blues. The band became a favorite of rock musicians, and during that period Wells and Guy played to rock audiences at the Fillmore West and made a State Department tour of East Africa; in 1970 they toured with Canned Heat and The Rolling Stones.
This according to “Junior Wells, central player in Chicago blues, is dead at 63” by Ben Ratliff (The New York times CXLVII/51,040 [17 January 1998] p. A11).
Today would have been Wells’s 80th birthday! Below, Wells and Guy at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in the band’s heyday.