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Homesick James

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Homesick James (30 April 1910 - 13 December 2006) was an American blues musician. He is believed to have been born John William Henderson, but later used the name James A. Williamson and was sometimes referred to as Homesick James Williamson.

He was born in Somerville, Tennessee, the son of Cordellia Henderson and Plez Williamson Rivers, who were both musicians. He developed a self-taught style of slide guitar through playing at local dances in his teens. His early life is uncertain. He claimed to have played with Yank Rachell, Sleepy John Estes, Blind Boy Fuller 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 Elmore his first guitar, and to have taught him how to play slide. However, some of these claims are unconfirmed.

By the early 1930s he was based in Chicago, and formed a band called the Dusters that included Snooky Pryor and “Babyface” Leroy Foster. He may have first recorded for RCA Victor in 1937, but this is also unconfirmed, and by 1938 may have begun playing electric guitar. His first certain recordings were in 1952 for Chance Records, recording the tracks “Lonesome Ole Train” and “Homesick” which gave him his stage name. During the late 1940s and 1950s he worked with both Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller), and with Elmore James.

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  • Jay-Chilli

    Rest in peace Homesick...one of the last of the original greats...

    30 Mar 2009 Reply

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