James was born in Richland, Mississippi, in 1918.
Blues historian Jim O'Neal of Kansas City said James arrived in Canton in 1951 and worked in a radio repair shop.
The shop was owned by Robert Earl Holston, who in a 1971 interview shared how he
experimented to amplify the guitar's sound.
said James' music inspired Fleetwood Mac and almost anybody who plays slide guitar.
The Hall of Fame committee, consisting of scholars, record producers, radio programmers, and historians, is chaired by Jim O'Neal, founding editor of Living Blues.