Carolina Slim is the best known pseudonym of the enigmatic Edward P Harris. His records were issued under the names Country Paul, Georgia Pine, Jammin’ Jim and Lazy Slim Jim in a short but productive recording career in the early 50s, but he passed away shortly after his 30th birthday. The quality of the work that he left behind hints at a major talent that did not come to fruition.
In 1923, Edward was born in Leasburg NC and was taught guitar by his father from an early age. The local Piedmont
style was the basis of Slim’s technique, and the influence of Blind Boy Fuller
is evident in his fingerpicking, but Texan influences are there too, especially the riffs of Lightnin’ Hopkins
, and Slim earned his living in the 40s playing on streetcorners all over the South. He was signed by Savoy Records in 1950, and Slim relocated to New Jersey, near their Newark headquarters. Savoy issued a long line of singles under the name Carolina Slim, but when he recorded for their subsidiary Acorn label, he was billed as ‘Lazy Slim Jim’. A couple of tracks were also released on their Sharp label, where he was called ‘Jammin’ Jim’, and when he put out further records for the King label in 1953, he appeared as ‘Country Paul’. Slim was obviously a good commercial prospect to have attracted so much attention, but his promising career was not to last.
‘Pour Me One More Drink’, by Carolina Slim;
Edward went into hospital for an operation on his back, and suffered a fatal heart attack during the procedure.