Personalities | Elmore James | Fifties | Jazz & Blues
(Guitar, vocals, 1918–63)
Elmore Brooks was born in Richland, Mississippi. He learned guitar at an early age and was playing functions by the age of 14. He often worked with Rice Miller from the late 1930s until he was drafted into the Navy in 1943. He rejoined Miller after the war and was headquartered in West Memphis, Arkansas. James recorded ‘Dust My Broom’ at the tail end of a Rice Miller session for Trumpet Records in 1951, and it became a surprise hit.
James moved to Chicago, where he formed his own group, the Broomdusters, and recorded for Modern/Flair/ Meteor from 1952–56 and Fire/Fury/Enjoy in 1959–62. He was the premier electric slide guitarist of his era and his signature riff, used on ‘Dust My Broom’, was heard on many of his recordings and copied by countless imitators.
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