Happy birthday to one of Chicago's greatest! Terry Callier was an amazing singer/songwriter and guitarist, his sound & style were equal parts folkie, soul and jazz. Callier grew up with Curtis Mayfield, Major Lance and Jerry Butler and sang in doo-wop groups and played piano.
In '62 he signed to Chess and released his first record while still in high school. While in college he got heavily into John Coltrane and took his songs to the folk coffeehouses. He recorded the classic The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier for Prestige Records and had his songs covered by others from the '60s onward.
Before his retirement in the early '80s he made several excellent LPs (some of which were produced by Charles Stepney) and had his tunes recorded by The Dells, H.P. Lovecraft and others. He had a US R&B hit with "Sign of the Times" in '78 and did some touring with Gil Scott-Heron and George Benson.
The UK Acid Jazz scene revived interest in his music and he came out of retirement to tour and record successfully, including being part of the Verve label's '90s mass-marketing program of new releases by classic artists. He also released some good stuff on the Mr Bongo label. He worked with Urban Species, Paul Weller, Beth Orton, Massive Attack, 4Hero, Kyoto Jazz Massive and many others, making new fans with a new generation. He was particularly popular in the UK.
He passed away in 2012. Several of his records have been reissued and a great place to start would be the classic Stepney-produced LPs for Cadet. Check out "You Goin' Miss Your Candyman" on What Color Is Love for a psychedelic soul masterpiece!