Slide guitar maestro Robert Nighthawk took his cues from an earlier slide wizard, Tampa Red, when he recorded the powerfully emotive ‘Black Angel Blues’ and its flip side, ‘Annie Lee Blues,’ for Aristocrat Records in 1949. Tampa Red had recorded both tunes some years earlier, although the original version of ‘Black Angel’ was recorded by Lucille Bogan in 1930, credited only to a writer named Smith. B.B. King would later re-popularize the number as ‘Sweet Little Angel.’ The Aristocrat recording was released under the name The Nighthawks, who were Robert ‘Nighthawk’ McCollum, pianist Ernest Lane, and, in one of his first appearances as a sideman for the Aristocrat/Chess labels, bassist Willie Dixon. Fellow Aristocrat/Chess artist Muddy Waters procured the recording opportunity for his friend Nighthawk, who had performed at Waters’ first wedding in Mississippi. Nighthawk (1909-1967) was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983.