Mathis James "Jimmy" Reed (September 6, 1925 – August 29, 1976) was an American blues musician and songwriter, notable for bringing his distinctive style of blues to mainstream audiences. Reed was a major player in the field of electric blues, as opposed to the more acoustic-based sound of many of his contemporaries. His lazy, slack-jawed singing, piercing harmonica and hypnotic guitar patterns were one of the blues' most easily identifiable sounds in the 1950s and 1960s, and had a significant impact on many rock and roll artists who followed, such as Elvis Presley, Billy Gibbons and the Rolling Stones.
Reed was born in Dunleith, Mississippi, in 1925, learning the harmonica and guitar from Eddie Taylor, a close friend. After spending several years busking and performing in the area, Reed moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1943 before being drafted into the US Navy during World War II.