It is recorded that Son House was born in Riverton, Mississippi on March 21, 1902. However, some have claimed that he was actually born in 1886 but later on lied about his age to get a job he thought he was too old for. A devout Baptist, he became a pastor by age 20, but later left the church after an affair with an older woman. He took up guitar and started playing the local juke joints, but his career was sidelined in 1928 when he shot and killed a man, alledgedly in self-defense, at a house party. He served 2 years at Parchman Farms and was released.
House moved to Lula and there met bluesmen, Charley Patton and Willie Brown. In 1930, Patton brought Son House and Willie Brown to Grafton, Wisconsin for a recording session with Paramount Records. Although not a commercial success, the songs recorded there, including "Preachin' the Blues"and "Dry Spell Blues" are considered some of the finest of the delta blues.
House and Willie Brown moved to Robinsville where they caught the attentions of a young, aspiring bluesman, Robert Johnson. House served as an inspiration for Johnson's later recordings, Preachin' Blues and Walkin' Blues.
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