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Son House

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Eddie James House, Jr. (March 21, 1902 – October 19, 1988), better known as Son House, was an influential blues singer and guitarist. His date of birth is a matter of some debate. Son House himself alleged that he was middle aged during World War I, and, more specifically, that he was 79 in 1965, which would mean that he was born around 1886. However, all legal records place his birth on March 21, 1902.

House was born, the middle of three brothers, in Riverton, Mississippi, two miles from famed blues capital Clarksdale, Mississippi. Around age seven or eight, he was brought by his mother to Tallulah, Louisiana after his parents separated. The young Son House was determined to become a Baptist preacher, and at age fifteen began his preaching career. Despite the church’s firm stand against blues music and the sinful world which revolved around it, House nevertheless became attracted to it and taught himself guitar in his midtwenties, inspired by the work of Willie Wilson. He began playing alongside Charley Patton, Willie Brown, Robert Johnson, Fiddlin’ Joe Martin, Leroy Williams, and Howlin’ Wolf, around Robinsonville, Mississippi and north to Memphis, Tennessee until 1942.

After killing a man, allegedly in self-defense, he spent time on Parchman Farm in 1928 and 1929.

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