On This Day In Music History: “Dust My Broom”

Robert Johnson wrote it and recorded it in 1936 as “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom.” Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup revived it in 1949.

On August 5, 1951, 33-year-old singer and electric slide guitarist Elmore James cut his first recording of it for Lillian McMurray and the Trumpet record label in Jackson, Mississippi. His band consisted of Sonny Boy Williamson, harmonica; Leonard Ware, bass and Frock O’Dell, drums.

“Dust My Broom” was a surprize hit record in 1951 and launched Elmore’s career. The song became his signiture number (he later named his band the Broomdusters) and a Blues standard. Elmore rerecorded it many times over the years until his death in 1963. Thanks to “Dust My Broom” and a lengthy discography of great songs and performances, Elmore James is now generally considered to be “the most influential slide guitarist of the postwar period.” (Cub Koda, All Music Guide To The Blues)  

Whichever version you listen to, you are hearing, in that opening, screaming, double-stop, electric slide guitar lick, the quintessential example of electric Blues slide guitar. Hands down. Highly recommended.

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One Response to On This Day In Music History: “Dust My Broom”

  1. TPS says:

    One of my all time favorite blues songs, and nobody does it like Elmore James. What a sound!!

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