J.D Short was a Mississippi delta blues singer and musician who was born in 1902 in the small community of Port Gibson, close to the Mississippi river and just south of Vicksburg. As a young man he first earned to play piano and guitar and went to master the harmonica, clarinet, saxophone and fife. He used these skills to support his distinctive, vibrato vocals and highly original lyrics. He developed his performance skills at house parties and at local juke joints and fish fries. When he was 21 he moved to St Louis where he was very successful, performing solo and with local musicians such as Henry Spaulding, Henry Townsend, Charley Jordan, and Short's cousin, Big Joe Williams. Short recorded for both Vocalion and Paramount, sometimes using pseudonyms such as Joe Stone and Jaw Jaw Short, and also backed other St Louis artists on record including Peetie Wheatstraw and Stump Johnson. Henry Townsend alleged in his autobiography that at some point during the 1930's, as a result of professional jealousy, Short attacked him with a knife, and that he, Townsend retaliated by shooting Short in his genitals. Short's career suffered during the decline in interest in rural blues in the 1940's and 1950's before re-emerging at the start of the blues revival period. For a while he achieved belated national recognition, and went on to record further tracks for Delmark and Folkways. However his success was short-lived and J.D. Short died in 1962 of a heart attack in a St Louis Hospital.