Skip James / June 9, 1902 - Oct 3, 1969

One of the great icons, Skip James was one of the dark princes of the blues and his songs and guitar style was a huge influence on Robert Johnson. He came from the Mississippi Delta and recorded several sides for Paramount in '31 but they sold poorly during the Depression, yet upon discovery by a newer generation of blues fans leading up to the early '60s he became a legend.

John Fahey, Henry Vestine and Bill Barth found James in a Mississippi hospital in '64. That same year he played the Newport Folk Festival which helped kick off the blues revival. Still in good form, he recorded for Fahey's Takoma label, Vanguard and others. His songs ended up being recorded by dozens of some of the biggest names in blues, rock and pop. Not bad for a dude who was largely inactive for thirty years. He died in '69.

Tagged: blues, Celebrate Icons, folk, guitar, Skip James

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