Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Luther "Snake Boy" Johnson
LuciousBrinson.jpg
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
Occupation(s) 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 also billed as Luther King and as Little Luther (he recorded under the latter name 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, 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 in 1953,[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. Johnson recorded a solo single, "The Twirl", released by Chess Records in 1964, on which he was billed as Little Luther. He 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 41.[1][5] He was interred at the Mount Hope Cemetery, in Mattapan, Massachusetts.[3]

Discography[edit]

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

[4]

See also[edit]

References[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". Keeponliving.at. 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". Chicagoreader.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 

External links[edit]