Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson

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Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson
Background information
Birth name Lucious Brinson
Also known as Luther "Snake" Johnson, Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson, Little Luther, Luther King
Born (1934-08-30)August 30, 1934
Davisboro, Georgia, United States
Died March 18, 1976(1976-03-18) (aged 41)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Genres Chicago blues, electric blues
Occupations Guitarist, singer, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1950s–1976
Labels Black & Blue, Muse and others
Associated acts Muddy Waters, Elmore James

Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson (August 30, 1934 – March 18, 1976) was an American Chicago blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was also known as Luther "Snake" Johnson or Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson, and was otherwise billed as both Luther King and Little Luther (under the latter he recorded for Chess Records in the 1960s).[1]

Allmusic journalist, Ron Wynn, stated "Johnson's own inimitable vocals, raspy lines and tart guitar eventually create his own aura... a good, occasionally outstanding blues artist."[2]

He is not to be confused with Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson.

Life and career[edit]

He was born Lucious Brinson in Davisboro, Georgia, United States.[1] He was raised on a farm and taught himself to play guitar.[3]

After service in the US Army up to 1953,[3] Johnson played guitar with a local gospel group called the Milwaukee Supreme Angels. However, he graduated towards blues and set up his own trio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before relocating to Chicago, Illinois in the early 1960s.[1][3] He backed Elmore James prior to his death, and in 1964, released a solo single on the Chess Records label entitled "The Twirl", billed as Little Luther. He then joined Muddy Waters backing band in 1966. Johnson worked with various musicians over this period, including Chicago Bob Nelson, before recording his debut album, Come on Home in 1969.[1][3]

In 1970, Johnson moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and found work on the blues festival and college circuits for the next few years.[1] Black & Blue Records released Johnson's Born in Georgia in 1972, and this was followed by Chicken Shack (1974), Lonesome in My Bedroom (1975), and the final album issued in his lifetime, Get Down to the Nitty Gritty (1976).[3][4]

Johnson died of cancer in Boston in March 1976, aged 41.[1] He was interred at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Mattapan, Massachusetts.[3]


Year Title Record label Notes
1969 Come on Home Douglas Music
1969 The Muddy Waters Blues Band N/K with The Muddy Waters Blues Band
1972 Born in Georgia Black & Blue Records
1974 Chicken Shack Muse Records with The Muddy Waters Blues Band
1975 Lonesome in My Bedroom Evidence Records
1976 Get Down to the Nitty Gritty New Rose Records
1992 They Call Me the Snake New Rose Records
2002 They Call Me the Popcorn Man Black & Blue Records


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cub Koda. "Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  2. ^ "Lonesome in My Bedroom > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Anita Pravits (2012). "Luther Johnson". Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 

External links[edit]