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thumb|right|Elmore James album cover Elmore James (January 27, 1918 – May 24, 1963) was an American blues singer and guitarist. He was known as "The King of the Slide Guitar".
James was born Elmore Brooks in Richland, Mississippi, 50 miles north of Jackson (not to be confused with another Richland just south of Jackson). He began playing as a teen, under the names "Cleanhead" and "Joe Willie James", alongside musicians such as the first Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson. During World War II James joined the United States Navy and was stationed in Guam.
Upon his discharge Elmore returned to central Mississippi and eventually settled in Canton. He began recording with Trumpet Records in nearby Jackson in January 1951, first as sideman to the second Sonny Boy Williamson and others, then debuting as a session leader in August with what became his signature song, "Dust My Broom". It was a surprise R&B hit in 1952 and turned James into a star. His "I Believe" was another hit a year later. During the 1950s he recorded for the Bihari Brothers' Flair and Modern labels,...