Carolina Slim

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Carolina Slim
Carolina Slim.jpg
Background information
Birth nameEdward P. Harris[1]
Also known asCountry Paul, Jammin' Jim, Lazy Slim Jim, Paul Howard
Born(1923-08-22)August 22, 1923
Leasburg, North Carolina, United States
DiedOctober 22, 1953(1953-10-22) (aged 30)
Newark, New Jersey, United States
GenresPiedmont blues[2]
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active1950–1953
LabelsSavoy, King

Edward P. Harris (August 22, 1923 – October 22, 1953),[3] known as Carolina Slim, was an American Piedmont blues guitarist and singer.[2] His best-known records are "Black Cat Trail" and "I'll Never Walk in Your Door".[4] He used various pseudonyms during his brief recording career, including Country Paul, Jammin' Jim, Lazy Slim Jim and Paul Howard.[5] He recorded 27 songs. Details of his life outside of his music career are scant, and the reasons for the use of different names are unclear.[2]


Harris was born in Leasburg, North Carolina. He learned to play the guitar from his father and was influenced by Lightnin' Hopkins and Blind Boy Fuller.[2][6] He later found work as an itinerant musician around Durham, North Carolina.[7]

In 1950, he relocated to Newark, New Jersey, and made his recording debut for Savoy Records, billed as Carolina Slim.[2] His first single was "Black Chariot Blues" backed with "Mama's Boogie", recorded on July 24, 1950, and released by Acorn Records (Acorn 3015), a subsidiary of Savoy.[5] In 1951 and 1952, he recorded eight tracks for King Records in New York, this time using the name Country Paul.[2][8] Henry Glover met Slim at these sessions and later commented that Slim was "a very sickly young man at the time".[8] Slim's style blended Piedmont blues, prominent in songs such as "Carolina Boogie" and his cover version of Fuller's "Rag Mama Rag", with the influence of Hopkins steering him increasingly towards Texas blues.[7] He occasionally incorporated a washboard as well as his guitar, as if to emphasise his Carolina roots.[7]

His recordings were not hugely popular but sold in sufficient numbers for him to retain his recording contract. In June 1952, he recorded four more tracks for Savoy, which were his final recordings.[7]

He died in Newark, New Jersey, from a heart attack, which occurred during surgery for a back complaint. He was 30 years old.[2]

In 1994, Document Records released a compilation album, Complete Recorded Works 1950–1952, which incorporates all of his 27 tracks.[9]


  • Blues from the Cotton Fields (Sharp, 1960)
  • Carolina Blues and Boogie (Flyright, 1972)
  • Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order 1950–1952 (Document, 1993)
  • Carolina Blues 1950–1952 (EPM, 2003)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins (5th ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7864-4373-4.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Dillon, Charlotte. "Carolina Slim: Biography". Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  3. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. p. 281. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  4. ^ Doc Rock. "The 50s and Earlier". Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  5. ^ a b "Carolina Slim Discography". Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  6. ^ "Carolina Slim (1923–1953)". Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d Lacey, Landis (2003). "Carolina Slim". Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Tracey, Steven C. (1993). Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City. Champaign: University of Illinois Press. p. 140. ISBN 0-252-01999-7.
  9. ^ "Carolina Slim, Complete Recorded Works 1950–1952: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Retrieved 2014-01-27.

External links[edit]