Elmore James

Elmore James ( born January 27, 1918 in Mississippi; † May 24, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois ) was an American blues musician. It belongs next to Muddy Waters to the most influential slide guitarist of the Chicago blues, his style has influenced many blues-rock and rock musician.


Typical of James was his powerful, harsh vocals, which he reinforced with his electric slide guitar game that was clearly influenced by Robert Nighthawk and especially Robert Johnson, accompanied them.


Elmore James was (according to other sources in Lexington or Canton ), Mississippi born in 1918 as the illegitimate son of Leora Brooks in Richland. He worked in agriculture before he began his career as a traveling musician. Here he worked with musicians such as Robert Johnson, who influenced him greatly, and Sonny Boy Williamson II ( Rice Miller) together. Robert Johnson influenced both his guitar style as well as a part of his repertoire ( Dust My Broom and Crossroads ). Accompanied by his powerful game on a reinforced slide guitar and his falsetto voice Elmore James became one of the most influential musicians of the electrified Chicago blues.

Between 1943 and 1945 he lived, except for the period as a Marine, as a hobo and hitchhiked through the southern states. His recording career began in 1951 when Lillian Elmore James McMurrys record label Trumpet Records. In the following twelve years, James made among other recordings with the great blues label Modern Records and Chess Records. His biggest hits were Dust My Broom ( Blues Hall of Fame 1983 Grammy Hall of Fame 1998), The Sky Is Crying, Shake Your Money Maker and It Hurts Me Too, which will be added to today by countless musicians of blues and rock scene. The song Dust My Broom has been previously recorded in 1936 by Robert Johnson. A cousin of Elmore James, his first slide guitar teacher and later Band Bassist - - On the side of blues guitarists especially Homesick James Hound Dog Taylor and JB have Hutto preserved and continued the musical legacy of Elmore James. The rock guitarists were significantly influenced by Elmore James, Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Johnny Winter.

Join to Elmore James was often used by musicians of the band from Tampa Red, in which also the saxophonist J. T. Brown played, which primarily through his recordings with Fleetwood Mac gained popularity among rock fans, as well as by the jazz musician Boyd Atkins.

Just when you had taken him in Europe ( especially in the UK) as part of the blues revival note of Elmore James died of a heart attack.

He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980.


Elmore James influenced by his style especially young British bands that appealed in the early 1960s to the African-American blues. Among his admirers include, among other Keith Richards and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, John Mayall, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton

The British band Fleetwood Mac was originally a blues band - in the 1960s, with guitarist Peter Green. Another member of this formation was Jeremy Spencer. He was to ( almost) perfectly to imitate vocally and instrumentally capable of Elmore James and was known as the original in his time.



Compilations ( selection)