|Birth Day:||June 9, 1902|
|Death Date:||Oct 3, 1969 (age 67)|
|Birth Place:||Bentonia, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Skip James died on Oct 3, 1969 (age 67).
He worked in construction, building roads and levees in Mississippi.
As was typical of his era, James recorded various styles of music – blues, spirituals, cover versions, and original compositions – frequently blurring the lines between genres and sources. For example, "I'm So Glad" was derived from a 1927 song, "So Tired", by Art Sizemore and George A. Little, recorded in 1928 by Gene Austin and by Lonnie Johnson (Johnson's version was entitled "I'm So Tired of Livin' All Alone"). James's biographer Stephen Calt, echoing the opinion of several music critics, considered the finished product totally original, "one of the most extraordinary examples of fingerpicking found in guitar music". Several other recordings from the Grafton session, such as "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues", "Devil Got My Woman", "Jesus Is a Mighty Good Leader", and "22-20 Blues" (the basis of Robert Johnson's better-known "32-20 Blues"), have been similarly influential. Very few original copies of James's Paramount 78 rpm records have survived.
In early 1931, James auditioned for the record shop owner and talent scout H. C. Speir in Jackson, Mississippi. Speir placed blues performers with various record labels, including Paramount Records. On the strength of this audition, James traveled to Grafton, Wisconsin, to record for Paramount. His 1931 records are considered idiosyncratic among prewar blues recordings and formed the basis of his reputation as a musician.
For the next thirty years, James made no known recordings and performed sporadically. He was virtually unknown to the general public until about 1960. In 1964, blues enthusiasts John Fahey, Bill Barth, and Henry Vestine found him in a hospital in Tunica, Mississippi. According to Calt, the "rediscovery" of both James and Son House at virtually the same time was the start of the blues revival in the United States. In July 1964, James and other rediscovered musicians appeared at the Newport Folk Festival. Several photographs by the blues promoter Dick Waterman captured this performance, James's first in over 30 years. James subsequently recorded for Takoma Records, Melodeon Records, and Vanguard Records and performed at various engagements until his death from cancer in 1969.
James is sometimes associated with the Bentonia School, which is either a subgenre of blues music or a style of playing it. In a 1994 biography of James, I'd Rather Be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues, Stephen Calt maintained that no style of blues originated in Bentonia and that the "Bentonia School" is simply a notion of later blues writers who overestimated the provinciality of Mississippi during the early 20th century, when railways linked small towns. Calt asserts these writers failed to see that in the case of Bentonia bluesman Jack Owens, "the 'tradition' he bore primarily consisted of musical scraps from James' table". Owens and other musicians who may have been contemporaries of James were not recorded until the revival of interest in blues music in the 1960s. Whether the work of these musicians constituted a "school", and whether James originated it or was a member of it himself, remain open questions. One of the last living links to the original Bentonia school is Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, the owner of the famous Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, Mississippi. Holmes learned to play in this particular style directly from Henry Stuckey, who reportedly taught James and Owens himself. Accordingly, Duck is called the "last of the Bentonia Bluesmen."
In 2004, Wim Wenders directed the film The Soul of a Man (the second part of The Blues, a series produced by Martin Scorsese), focusing on the music of Blind Willie Johnson, J.B. Lenoir and James. Because James had not been filmed before the 1960s, Keith B. Brown played the part of the young James in the documentary. James' song "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" was featured in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and included on the soundtrack album.
In 2020, James' song "Devil Got My Woman" was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Skip is the son of Eddie James, a minister.
Currently, Skip James is 118 years, 8 months and 27 days old. Skip James will celebrate 119th birthday on a Wednesday 9th of June 2021. Below we countdown to Skip James upcoming birthday.
Happy 113th Birthday, Skip James. (6/9/1902).
Happy 113th Birthday, Skip James. (6/9/1902). Skip James recorded “22 – 20 Blues” and “If You Haven’t Any Hay Get On Down The Road” in Grafton, WI for Paramount …