Elmore James

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Robbie Robertson (The Band)
  • Category:
    Early Influences
Elmore James


Everyone who puts a slide on their guitar owes a debt to Elmore James.

Raw, stimulating electric—his was the lick that basically defines blues rock.

Hall of Fame Essay


Tony Glover

Some blues musicians carve out their own stylistic trademarks: Bo Diddley has his syncopated rhythm riff, Howling Wolf his full-bodied falsetto swoop, Jimmy Reed his repetitive walking bass lines. 

Elmore James’ signature was his thundering full-octave slide guitar opening. 

Though borrowed from fellow Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson, that “Dust My Broom” riff laid the foundation for an eleven-year recording career, with nearly 80 titles released on some seven different labels.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 1992
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