James “Kokomo” Arnold

JamesKokomoArnold (February 15, 1896 or 1901 – November 8, 1968) was an American bluesmusician. A left-handed slide guitarist, his intense style of playing and rapid-fire vocal delivery set him apart from his contemporaries. He got his nickname in 1934 after releasing “Old Original Kokomo Blues” for Decca Records, a cover version of Scrapper Blackwell‘s blues song about the city of Kokomo, Indiana.

Arnold was born in Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia. Most sources give the date his birth as 1901, but the researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc give the date as 1896, on the basis of information in the 1900 census. He learned the basics of playing the guitar from his cousin, John Wiggs.

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