About 1927, Son House saw Willie Wilson in Mattson,
Mississippi playing with Rubin Lacy. The experience gave Son the
idea to start playing the guitar. Son told the story to the
writer Julius Lester back in 1965:
“...I saw a guy named Willie Wilson and
another one named Rubin Lacy. All before then, I just hated to
see a guy with a guitar. I was so churchy! I came along to
a little place they call Mattson, a little below Clarksdale. It
was on a Saturday and these guys were sitting out front of a place and
they were playing. Well, I stopped, because the people were all
crowded around. This boy, Willie Wilson, had a thing on his
finger like a medicine bottle, and he was zinging it, you
Son thought that really sounded good, and after
that bought himself an old guitar for $1.50 from Frank Hopkins.
It had a broken back and was missing one string. Son showed
it to Willie who helped tape it up and put on another string.
Willie got Son an old bottle for his finger so he could
"zing" it on the strings. Son had heard Willie play Hold up Sally, Take Your Big Legs Offa Mine, and that was the first song that Son learned.