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William Harris is thought to have been born in Glendora, Mississippi around 1900 but nothing is known about his early years. The style and intricacy of his guitar work suggests a strong Mississippi Delta influence, which is not surprising, although references to locations in Alabama in his song lyrics also suggest that some of his formative years were spent there. His total recording legacy consists of nine songs and his first recording session was in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1927. He was probably a performer with a travelling medicine show, possibly the Rabbit Foot Minstels which was based in Port Gibson, a show that numbered both Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith among its earlier members. Harris was almost certainly a contemporary of Jim Jackson on the show circuit and among the tracks that he recorded was "Kansas City Blues," a huge hit for Jackson in 1927. William Harris's second and final recording session was in Richmond, Indiana in 1928 after which all records of him end.