Born Edward Taylor in Benoit, Mississippi, United States, as a boy Taylor taught himself to play the guitar. He spent his early years playing at venues around Leland, Mississippi, where he taught his friend Jimmy Reed to play guitar. With a guitar style deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta tradition, in 1949 Taylor moved to Chicago, Illinois.While Taylor never achieved the stardom of some of his compatriots in the Chicago blues scene, he nevertheless was an integral part of that era. He is especially noted as a main accompanist for Jimmy Reed, as well as working with John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton, Sam Lay and others. Taylor's own records "Big Town Playboy" and "Bad Boy" on Vee Jay Records became local hits in the 1950s.
Taylor's son Eddie Taylor Jr. is a blues guitarist in Chicago, his stepson Larry Taylor is a blues drummer and vocalist, and his daughter Demetria is a blues vocalist in Chicago. Taylor's wife Vera was the niece of bluesmen Eddie "Guitar" Burns and Jimmy Burns.
Taylor died on Christmas Day in 1985 in Chicago, at age 62, and was interred in an unmarked grave in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1987.
Billy Boy Arnold born in Chicago, he began playing harmonica as a child, and in 1948 received informal lessons from his near neighbour John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, shortly before the latter's death. Arnold made his recording debut in 1952 with "Hello Stranger" on the small Cool label, the record company giving him the nickname "Billy Boy".In the early 1950s, he joined forces with street musician Bo Diddley and played harmonica on the March 2, 1955 recording of the Bo Diddley song "I'm a Man" released by Checker Records. The same day as the Bo Diddley sessions, Billy Boy recorded the self-penned "You Got to Love Me" which was not released until the box set, Chess Blues 1947-1967, in 1992.
Arnold signed a solo recording contract with Vee-Jay Records, recording the originals of "I Wish You Would" and "I Ain’t Got You". Both were later covered by The Yardbirds. "I Wish You Would" was also recorded by David Bowie on his 1973 album, Pin Ups and by Sweet on their 1982 album, Identity Crisis.
In the late 1950s Arnold continued to play in Chicago clubs, and in 1963 he recorded a LP, More Blues From The South Side, for the Prestige label, but as playing opportunities dried up he pursued a parallel career as a bus driver and, later, parole officer.
By the 1970s Arnold had begun playing festivals, touring Europe, and recording again. He recorded a session for BBC Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel on 5 October 1977.
In 1993 he released the album Back Where I Belong on Alligator Records, followed by Eldorado Cadillac (1995) and Boogie ’n’ Shuffle (2001). In 2012, he released Blue and Lonesome featuring Tony McPhee and The Groundhogs.