James “Guitar Slim” Stephens was born on March 10, 1915, near Spartanburg, South Carolina. He began to play the pump organ at the age of 5, and two years later he switched to piano. Slim was so small that his feet would not even reach the organ pedals, so he has one of his brothers do the pumping while he practiced the keys. In his early teens he joined the John Henry Davis Medicine Show. He soon picked up the guitar an instrument, which he truly mastered. It was his welcoming spirit that opened the doors of the Carolina blues, a world rarely seen by an outsider to Tim Duffy.
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