Homesick James

Homesick James (April 30, 1910 – December 13, 2006) was an American blues musician known for his mastery of the slide guitar. He worked with his cousin, Elmore James, and with Sonny Boy Williamson II.

Homesick James was born in Somerville, Tennessee, United States, the son of Cordellia Henderson and Plez Williamson Rivers, who were both musicians. The year of his birth is uncertain. He stated that he was born in 1905, 1910, or 1914, while his union records give 1924. His actual birth name has given as James Williamson or John Henderson.

Little is known about his early life. He developed a self-taught style of slide guitar through playing at local dances in his teens. He claimed to have played with Yank Rachell, Sleepy John Estes, Blind Boy Fuller, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Big Joe Williams, among others, and to have been acquainted with Robert Johnson. He also claimed to be the older cousin of Elmore James, to have bought James his first guitar, and to have taught him how to play slide. However, some of these claims are unconfirmed.

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