Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson
Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson
|Birth name||Lucious Brinson|
|Also known as||Luther "Snake" Johnson|
Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson
|Born||dubious ]August 30, 1941[|
Davisboro, Georgia, United States
|Died||March 18, 1976 (aged 34)|
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
|Genres||Chicago blues, electric blues|
|Occupation(s)||Guitarist, singer, songwriter|
|Labels||Black & Blue, Muse and others|
|Associated acts||Muddy Waters, Elmore James|
Luther Johnson (born Lucious Brinson, August 30, 1934 or 1941 – March 18, 1976), sometimes credited with the sobriquets "Georgia Boy", "Snake", or "Snake Boy", was an American Chicago blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.
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." He is not to be confused with Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, nor Luther "Houserocker" Johnson, from Atlanta, Georgia.
Life and career
He was born in Davisboro, Georgia. Sources give different years of birth, ranging from 1934 to 1941 (according to his headstone), though 1939 has also been published. He was raised on a farm and taught himself to play guitar.
After completing his service in the US Army, 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. He backed Elmore James prior to his James's death in 1963, and joined Muddy Waters' 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 1968, with Muddy Waters' band.
In 1970, Johnson moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and found work on the blues festival and college circuits for the next few years. 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). On records issued in his lifetime, he was credited as either Luther Johnson or Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson, though he was also known to contemporaries as Luther "Snake" Johnson.
|1966||Live at Cafe Au Go Go||BluesWay||With John Lee Hooker|
|1966||The Blues Is Where It's At||BluesWay||With Otis Spann|
|1967||The Bottom of the Blues||BluesWay||With Otis Spann|
|1968||Cryin' Time||Vanguard||With Otis Spann|
|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||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|
- Jacques Morgantini, Liner notes for Born in Georgia LP. Retrieved 21 April 2020
- Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 105. ISBN 978-0313344237.
- Stefan Wirz, Illustrated Luther Johnson Discography. Retrieved 21 April 2020
- "Lonesome in My Bedroom > Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Cub Koda. "Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- Edward Komara (ed.), The Blues Encyclopedia, p.534
- Len Kunstadt, Liner notes, The Bluesmen of the Muddy Waters Chicago Blues Band, Spivey LP1008, 1966
- Anita Pravits (2012). "Luther Johnson". Keeponliving.at. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- "Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- "Muddy Waters sideman Luther 'Snake Boy' Johnson had his career cut short by brain cancer". Chicagoreader.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22.