Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson

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Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson
Background information
Birth nameLucious Brinson
Also known asLuther "Snake" Johnson
Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson
Luther King
Born(1941-08-30)August 30, 1941[dubious ]
Davisboro, Georgia, United States
DiedMarch 18, 1976(1976-03-18) (aged 34)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
GenresChicago blues, electric blues
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1950s–1976
LabelsBlack & Blue, Muse and others
Associated actsMuddy Waters, Elmore James

Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson (August 30, 1941[dubious ] – March 18, 1976) was an American Chicago blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was also known as Luther "Snake" Johnson, Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson and Luther King.[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, nor Luther "Houserocker" Johnson, from Atlanta, Georgia.

Life and career[edit]

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

After completing his service in the US Army,[3] Johnson played guitar with the Milwaukee Supreme Angels, a local gospel group in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, he gravitated towards blues and formed his own trio in Milwaukee. He relocated to Chicago, Illinois, in the early 1960s.[1][3] He backed Elmore James prior to his James's death in 1963, and joined Muddy Waters's backing band in 1966. Johnson worked with various musicians during this period, including Chicago Bob Nelson. He recorded 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] His album Born in Georgia was released by Black & Blue Records. It 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 brain cancer in Boston on March 18, 1976, aged 34.[dubious ][1][5] He was interred at the Mount Hope Cemetery, in Mattapan, Massachusetts.[3]


Year Title Record label Notes
1966 Live at Cafe Au Go Go Bluesway With John Lee Hooker
1969 Come On Home Douglas Music
1969 The Muddy Waters Blues Band Transatlantic With the Muddy Waters Blues Band
1972 Born in Georgia Black & Blue
1974 "Unk" in Funk Chess With Muddy Waters
1974 Chicken Shack Muse With the Muddy Waters Blues Band
1975 Lonesome in My Bedroom Evidence
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.
  5. ^ "Muddy Waters sideman Luther 'Snake Boy' Johnson had his career cut short by brain cancer". Retrieved 2017-05-22.

External links[edit]