b. 3 October 1921, Brookhaven, Mississippi, USA. In the early 60s much of the interest generated by the blues in Chicago was focused on the Maxwell Street open-air market, where musicians could be found playing on the sidewalk with their electric guitars plugged into extensions hired out by local home-owners. ‘Blind’ James Brewer was, by this time, a religious singer who went on to form the Church Of God In Christ, a convocation of local preachers dedicated to working in the Maxwell Street area. Born blind, he had worked as a blues singer since his teenage years, moving from Mississippi to St. Louis before joining Arvella Gray, another well-known street singer, in Chicago. During the ‘boom’ years of the 60s Brewer found work on the college circuit, appeared on television and had his recorded work issued on such labels as Heritage, Flyright and Testament.
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