Eddie James ‘Son’ House Jr, blues singer and guitarist, was born on a cotton plantation in 1902 in Lyon, near Riverton, Mississippi. After the break up of his parents marriage in 1910, he moved with his mother and brothers to Tallulah, Louisiana. Always a regular churchgoer, he was preaching sermons by the age of 15, and he was ordained as a Baptist minister when he was in his early 20’s. He didn't take up music as a career until he was he was 26 years old, learning his slide techniques from delta bluesmen Rubin Lacey and Willie Wilson. It was the latter who taught Son House to use a medicine bottle as a slide. He was sent to a State Penal Farm in 1927 after being convicted of killing a man at a party, although he always maintained his innocence. A campaign to  get him freed was successful and he was released after two years. In 1929 he began working with Charley Patton and Willie Brown, recording for Paramount in 1930/31. His career took many ups and downs during the 1930’s and it was during this period that he tutored a young Robert Johnson. (It is very likely that  Son House was the inadvertent creator of the 'Crossroads' legend. During an interview in the 1960's House was reported as saying that Johnson's slide playing had made such a dramatic improvement that "he must have sold his soul to the devil").

Son House was recorded again in the early 1940’s by Alan Lomax for the US Library of Congress. After the second World War his recording and performing career was very spasmodic. He was “re-discovered” in the mid 1960’s as part of a general increase in interest in the blues in the US and in Europe. He was adopted by white audiences and became much in demand on the US college circuit and also appeared regularly at folk/blues festivals, often billed as “one of the last surviving delta bluesmen”. He played the Carnegie Hall in the mid 1960’s and even found time to visit England. He also recorded again, for Columbia and then the Roots label. He suffered with very poor health in the 1970’s and his recording and performance schedule gradually tailed off. He died in 1988 in Detroit.