Elmore James’ The Sky is Crying is the other James recording being honored with a Blues Hall of Fame induction this year. James, who died in 1963, did not live to see the release of this 1965 compilation, which was the first U.S. album to collect sides he recorded for Bobby Robinson from 1959-1961 in Chicago and New York. Seven of the 12 tracks, including the title track, a wrenching, slow slide guitar blues masterpiece, were first issued as singles on Robinson’s Fire label. A remake of his signature song, “Dust My Broom,” and others were released on later Robinson imprints including Sphere Sound and Enjoy. With sidemen such as Homesick James, Little Johnnie Jones, and New York session ace Wild Jimmy Spruill, James was in peak form and the settings helped him bring more variety to his sound than he is often credited with. It’s hard to go wrong with any Elmore James collection, and this one is indeed a classic.