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 

Electric Blues 1939–2005 – The Definitive Collection!
Volume 3: 1960–1969

Elmore James on Wikipedia 

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Elmore James: Got To Move
Art-Nr.: LP30112718

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(1991/Charly) 12 tracks -  Rare Charly album incl. recordings made between 1952 and 1961!

$20.65 *

Elmore James: The Classic Early Recordings (3-CD Box)

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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.

$25.67 *

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)

$19.77 *

Elmore James: Can't Stop Lovin' b-w Make A Little Love 7inch, 45rpm
Art-Nr.: REP10022

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Classic! Hot slide guitar and pounding bass!

$12.69 *

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 long playing-time...

$20.95 *

Elmore James & Broom Dusters: Blues After!
Art-Nr.: CD263482

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(2014/Hoodoo Records) 10 tracks + 12 Bonustracks

$11.51 *

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 'Fire' sides. ELMORE...

$12.69 *

Elmore James: Blues After Hours
Art-Nr.: CDCHM1043

Currently not available

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 great 'Modern' sides. He was the originator of modern slide guitar playing.

$11.74 *

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!

$10.03 *

Elmore James: The Sky Is Crying
Art-Nr.: SPH7002

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('Sphere Sound')

$18.82 *

Elmore James: Early In The Morning b-w Hawaiian Boogie 7inch, 45rpm
Art-Nr.: REP10020

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Great Chicago R&B pounder from 1953!

$12.69 *

Elmore James: Big Box Of ... (6-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDBLUE171

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$22.13 *

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.

Instead of:$32.45 * $18.82 *

Elmore James: I Believe b-w I Held My Baby Last Night 7inch, 45rpm
Art-Nr.: REP10023

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$12.69 *

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!

$12.69 *

Elmore James: Broomdusters Box (3-LP - 2-CD)
Art-Nr.: DOX645

Currently not available

(1952-60) Doxy 54 on 3 LPs and also on 2 CDs.

$52.81 *

Elmore James: I Need You
Art-Nr.: SPH7008

Currently not available

(1965) Sphere Sound

$13.28 *