Elmore James was born Elmore Brooks in Richland, Mississippi on January 27, 1918. Known as The King of the Slide Guitar, Elmore began playing as a teen, under the names Cleanhead and Joe Willie James, alongside musicians such as the first Sonny Boy Williamson, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Johnny Temple, and Luther Huff.
He began recording in 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". In 1952 he was recording a couple of sides with Chess. None sold well. Elmore spent the rest of the 50's moving back and forth between Chicago and Mississippi, depending on who wanted to hear his music more.
In 1957 he was discovered to have an ailing heart condition, but this didn't keep him from the road. In 1959 he recorded with some success with Fire records. In 1963 when he was preparing to go to the studio for a new session, Elmore James succumbed to his heart condition. He was 45 years old. MP3: Standing At The Crossroads