Blues guitarist and singer Phillip Walker, who backed such stars as Etta James and Lowell Fulson, has died. He was 73.

Marc Lipkin, publicity director for Alligator Records, says Walker died Thursday (July 22) of heart failure in Palm Springs.

Walker performed for more than 50 years, recording many solo albums and touring with zydeco legend Clifton Chenier for two years.

In 1959, Walker moved to California, where he earned a reputation as one of the region's top guitarists. He even joined Little Richard's band for a brief time.
Over the past decade, Walker continued to record albums and tour, including an October 2009 stint in South Africa.

His most recent album, "Going Back Home," was released in 2007.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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