ELMORE JAMES.
1918 to 1980.


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Elmore James is born in Richland, Mississippi on 27 January 1918.

In 1925 at the tender age of seven, Elmore constructs his first guitar.

He plays his first gigs, at Mississippi barrelhouses in 1932.

Elmore and his half brother Robert Earl Holston , form a blues duo in 1937, Elmore already knows Robert Johnson and Rice Miller later to be known as Sonny Boy Williamson II.

Elmore plays with Rice Miller at suppers and house dances on plantations in 1941 and two years later Elmore joins the US navy.

He leaves the Navy in 1945 and returns to Mississippi.

By 1949 an acknowledged slide guitar virtuoso, Elmore joins pianist Willie Love's band.

Elmore makes his debut recordings for the Trumpet record label in 1951. A rehearsal version of 'Dust My Broom' is released and the following year 'I Believe', a remake of 'Dust My Broom', is a success, a year later he records for several labels, including Flair records.

Elmore joins Johnny Jones' band in 1955 for some engagements at Silvio's club in Chicago.

He records the classic 'The Twelve Year Old Boy' in 1957 for the Chief label in Chicago.

After his new recordings turn out to be commercial failures, he returns to the South in 1958.

He cuts several fine tracks for the Fire Record label in New York in 1959, including 'The Sky is Crying' and possibly his finest version of 'Dust My Broom'.

Elmore makes further recordings for Fire Records in 1961, including the outstanding tracks 'Look on Yonder Wall' and 'Shake Your Moneymaker'.

Disillusioned by record business obstacles, Elmore again quits the North in 1962 to return to Mississippi.

On 23 May 1963, four days after returning to Chicago for another tilt at recording success, Elmore James dies of a heart attack. He is buried in Durant, Mississippi.


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