Who was/is Elmore James ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Elmore James

It didn't seem to much matter whether Fire Records boss Bobby Robinson booked a studio to record slide guitar master Elmore James in Chicago, New York, or New Orleans. Elmore ripped into his own Shake Your Moneymaker at Cosimo Matassa's self-named studio in the Crescent City during the summer of 1961, the Harlem-based Robinson making the trip down to oversee the session.

After supervising Elmore's '59 comeback hit The Sky Is Crying in Chicago with the guitarist's own Broomdusters in sturdy support (see Disc Five), Robinson had helmed a couple of James dates at Beltone Studios in New York with the cream of the city's blues sessioneers behind him. But Elmore was now living mostly in Jackson, Mississippi (problems with the Chicago musicians union made it all but impossible for him to secure work there), so James met Bobby in the Crescent City to record with his Jackson-based band: Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker rattled the 88s, Sammy Lee Bully stroked the electric bass, and King Mose Taylor was on drums.

The non-union session was held under sweltering conditions that don't seem to have slowed the tough little combo down any; Moneymaker rides a fluid glide that's different from the grinding thrust that his platters traditionally had. This is no Dust My Broom retread, but fresh territory for James, whose vocal is all but unintelligible in spots yet thoroughly compelling from one end to the other. Of course, his savage slide work connects as solidly as ever.

Robinson had searched long and hard to locate Elmore prior to the date that spawned The Sky Is Crying, and the producer remained faithful to him to the end. That sad day arrived unexpectedly on May 24, 1963, when James succumbed to a heart attack at his bassist 'Homesick' James Williamson's house on Chicago's near North Side. He was only 45 and had long suffered from a bad ticker. With help from local deejay Big Bill Hill, Elmore had straightened out his longstanding dispute with the union and was primed to resume performing in the Windy City when he died, as well as planning his first European tour.

The electric blues idiom has seen its share of iconic slide guitarists over the decades. For a great many enthusiasts of the genre, there can be no better example of the crashing power of cold bottleneck or metal tube incisively applied to six amplified strings than the classic lick powering Elmore's Dust My Broom.

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois 

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!
Electric Blues 1939–2005 – The Definitive Collection!
Volume 3: 1960–1969

Elmore James on Wikipedia 

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The Sky Is Crying - The Ultimate Collection (3-CD) Elmore James: The Sky Is Crying - The Ultimate Collection (3-CD) Art-Nr.: CDSBR7947

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(Sunset Blvd Records) 54 tracks, digisleeve Elmore James' last major recordings were made in the 1960s when he was signed by New York producer/label owner Bobby Robinson (Fire, Fury & Enjoy Records). In contrast to many of his...
$37.01
The Sky Is Crying (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.) Elmore James: The Sky Is Crying (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.) Art-Nr.: LPWAX408741

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(Wax Time) 20 Tracks - 1951-1961 - Strictly limited collector's edition of only 500 copies! 180 gram vinyl, audiophile pressing!
$19.73 $24.66
Rollin' & Tumblin' (CD) Elmore James: Rollin' & Tumblin' (CD) Art-Nr.: CD702620

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(Relic Record Productions) 22 tracks
$44.88
Blues After Hours (CD) Elmore James: Blues After Hours (CD) Art-Nr.: CDCHM1043

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(2005/ACE) 18 tracks (50:31) 1953-1956 with 12 page booklet. - The original LP artwork plus digital masters transferred from newly discovered master tapes make this mid-price CD the best compilation available today, presenting Elmore's...
$13.42 $16.79
Slide Order Of The Blues (2-CD) Elmore James: Slide Order Of The Blues (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDJAS3072

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(2016/Jasmine) 51 tracks. His the complete A and B sides of all published singles from the years 1952 to 1962 on Trumpet, Meteor, Flair, Checker, Modern, Chief, Vee Jay, Fire and Enjoy. Most of the recordings were made in Chicago and New...
$19.04
Got To Move (LP) Elmore James: Got To Move (LP) Art-Nr.: LP30112718

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(1991/Charly) 12 tracks - Rare Charly album incl. recordings made between 1952 and 1961!
$16.13 $20.16
Blues Master Works (180g Vinyl, 2- LP, 1 CD) Elmore James: Blues Master Works (180g Vinyl, 2- LP, 1 CD) Art-Nr.: LPDB004

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(2013/Delta Blues) 25 tracks.
$29.61
King Of The Slide Guitar (3-CD Box) Elmore James: King Of The Slide Guitar (3-CD Box) Art-Nr.: CDSNAJ722

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(1951-63) (186:20/64) The complete Trumpet, Chief & Fire Sessions.
$17.92 $30.89
Dust My Broom - The Best Of Elmore James, Vol.2 (CD) Elmore James: Dust My Broom - The Best Of Elmore James, Vol.2... Art-Nr.: CDREL7040

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(1992/Relic) 22 tracks
$28.03
Happy Home b-w No Love In My Heart Elmore James: Happy Home b-w No Love In My Heart Art-Nr.: REP10042

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Originally released in 1955!
$9.66
Blues After Hours...plus! Elmore James & Broom Dusters: Blues After Hours...plus! Art-Nr.: CD263482

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(2014/Hoodoo Records) 10 tracks + 12 Bonustracks
$10.95
Whose Muddy Shoes Elmore James & John Brim: Whose Muddy Shoes Art-Nr.: LPDOL1466

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(2014/DOL) 14 tracks. 1953-60 Chess - 140 g HQ vinyl. They are not performing together.
$12.36
The Blues In My Heart The Rhythm In My Soul Elmore James: The Blues In My Heart The Rhythm In My Soul Art-Nr.: LPUN7716

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​(2013/UNITEDSUPERIOR) 10 tracks, reissue (originally released in 1969)
$15.23 $19.04
Big Box Of ... (6-CD) Elmore James: Big Box Of ... (6-CD) Art-Nr.: CDBLUE171

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(271:07/94)
$21.06
Early In The Morning b-w Hawaiian Boogie 7inch, 45rpm Elmore James: Early In The Morning b-w Hawaiian Boogie 7inch,... Art-Nr.: REP10020

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Great Chicago R&B pounder from 1953!
$9.66
Can't Stop Lovin' b-w Make A Little Love 7inch, 45rpm Elmore James: Can't Stop Lovin' b-w Make A Little Love 7inch,... Art-Nr.: REP10022

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Classic! Hot slide guitar and pounding bass!
$9.66
I Believe b-w I Held My Baby Last Night 7inch, 45rpm Elmore James: I Believe b-w I Held My Baby Last Night 7inch,... Art-Nr.: REP10023

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GREAT R&B of MR. SLIDE GUITAR!
$9.66
Shake Your Moneymaker - Look On Yonder Wall Elmore James: Shake Your Moneymaker - Look On Yonder Wall Art-Nr.: REP10015

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Fantastic R&B Repro on the original rare 1st label!
$9.66
Broomdusters Box (3-LP - 2-CD) Elmore James: Broomdusters Box (3-LP - 2-CD) Art-Nr.: DOX645

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(1952-60) Doxy 54 on 3 LPs and also on 2 CDs.
$40.22
I Need You Elmore James: I Need You Art-Nr.: SPH7008

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(1965) Sphere Sound
$13.44 $16.79
Cry For Me Baby b-w Take Me Where You Go 7inch, 45rpm Elmore James: Cry For Me Baby b-w Take Me Where You Go 7inch,... Art-Nr.: REP10005

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KILLER blues bopper! Dance floor filler!
$9.66
The Sky Is Crying Elmore James: The Sky Is Crying Art-Nr.: SPH7002

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('Sphere Sound')
$14.33 $17.92
Shake Your Moneymaker: The 'Fire' Sessions Elmore James: Shake Your Moneymaker: The 'Fire' Sessions Art-Nr.: CD997812

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(1959-61 'Fire') (46:49/16) Schön aufgemachtes und gut klingendes Album mit einer 'Best Of'-Zusammenstellung seiner späten Aufnahmen für das New Yorker 'Fire'-Label / good looking and well sounding 'Best Of' compilation from his great...
$12.08
Complete Fire And Enjoy Recordings (3-CD) Elmore James: Complete Fire And Enjoy Recordings (3-CD) Art-Nr.: CDCOL8829

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(1959-63 'Fire/Enjoy') (180:47/61) Diese Ausgabe enthält alle bekannten Einspielungen für die beiden Labels von Bobby Robinson, einschließlich einiger alternativer Versionen, abgebrochenen Versuchen und Studiogesprächen / this edition...
$33.42
The Best Of Elmore James - The Early Years Elmore James: The Best Of Elmore James - The Early Years Art-Nr.: CDCHD583

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(1951/56 'Modern') (80:03:28) Die besten Aufnahmen aus seiner kreativsten Phase! Ein Album mit einer extremen Spieldauer. Viel Musik für's Geld / the best recordings from what is regarded as his most creative recording period. Extremely...
$11.18 $17.92
Make A Little Love - Catfish Blues Elmo James: Make A Little Love - Catfish Blues Art-Nr.: 45J783

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(1953(?) Jewel Repro! Great slide guitar blues action with raw singing!
$7.64
The Classic Early Recordings (3-CD Box) Elmore James: The Classic Early Recordings (3-CD Box) Art-Nr.: CDABOXCD4

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What an incredible edition! His complete recorded output, from 1951 to '56. The set includes many previously unknown and unreleased takes, plus a beautifully illustrated 40-page booklet.
$24.66