J.D. Short

Decades: 1960s 1990s 2000s


26 December 1902, Port Gibson, Mississippi, USA, d. November 1962. Short grew up in various parts of Mississippi where he learned guitar from Willie Johnson and piano from Son Harris. In 1923, Short moved to St. Louis where he was discovered by Jesse Stone. He recorded country blues for Paramount (1930) and Vocalion (1932), but spent most of the 30s playing clarinet in a St. Louis jazz group. Short was crippled by a wartime injury but continued performing after 1945, often as a guitar/harmonica/bass drum one-man band and sometimes with his cousin Big Joe Williams. The duo worked together on Short’s final recording for Sonet, recreating the music of their early years in the south on tracks such as ‘Starry Crown Blues’. Short died a few months later, in November 1962.

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