Reed was a major influence in electric blues, but was opposed to the acoustic based sound of others at his time. After unsuccessfully trying to get a contract with Chess Records, he got signed at Vee-Jay records, in part because of the drummer Reed was playing with, Albert King. Reed played harp in a holder while he played guitar and was a very accomplished harp player for that style. He had a stylistic voice that made him immediately stand out from the rest of the singers at the time.
He has proved to be very influential, specifically to The Rolling Stones, who also recorded a “Bright Lights, Big City”, among many other of Reed’s songs. Additionally, “Big Boss Man” proved to be a major hit when Elvis Presley recorded it again in 1967. Both records were voted into the list of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
To hear "Bright Lights Big City" by Jimmy Reed click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeaX-Jh_47g
Also, if you're interested in listening to The Rolling Stones rendition of the song here it is:
Jimmy Reed. Bright Lights, Big City. Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall Album. Track 1. Vee-Jay Records. 1961