Luther Johnson (Guitar Junior)

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Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson
Luther Johnson Jr.jpg
Johnson in 1976
Background information
Birth nameLuther Johnson
Born(1939-04-11)April 11, 1939
Itta Bena, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedDecember 25, 2022(2022-12-25) (aged 83)
Oxford, Florida, U.S.
GenresChicago blues[1]
Occupation(s)Singer, guitarist
Years active1960s–2022
LabelsBullseye Blues, Alligator, Telarc Blues

Luther Johnson (April 11, 1939 – December 25, 2022) was an American blues singer and guitarist, who performed under the name Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson.[2] He is not to be confused with Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson, Luther "Houserocker" Johnson, or Lonnie "Guitar Junior" Brooks.


Born in Itta Bena, Mississippi, Johnson moved to Chicago with his family in 1955.[1] During the 1960s, he performed with Magic Sam.[3] He performed in Muddy Waters' band from 1972 to 1980.[3] In 1980, four of his songs were included in an anthology released by Alligator Records.[1] That same year he appeared as a member of the Legendary Blues Band, backing John Lee Hooker in the movie The Blues Brothers.

Johnson moved to the East Coast and began fronting his own band, the Magic Rockers.[3] His "Walkin' the Dog" was recorded live at the Montreux Festival's Blues Night. He won a Grammy Award in 1985 for Best Traditional Blues Album for his part in Blues Explosion. He recorded three albums released by Telarc Records: Slammin’ on the West Side (1996), Got to Find a Way (1998), and Talkin' About Soul (2001).[1] He also performed on three albums by the Nighthawks.

Johnson lived in Antrim, New Hampshire for many years but moved to Florida in 2017. He died on December 25, 2022, at the age of 83 and is survived by his wife, Lottie.[4]


  • Ma Bea's Rock (1975) (with Jimmy Johnson)
  • Luther's Blues (1977)
  • I Changed (1979)
  • Doin’ the Sugar Too (1984)
  • I Want to Groove With You (1990)
  • It’s Good to be Me (1992)
  • Country Sugar Papa (1994)
  • Slammin on the West Side (1996)
  • Got to Find a Way (1998)
  • Talkin' About Soul (2001)


  1. ^ a b c d Dahl, Bill (July 15, 1939). "Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  2. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 204. ISBN 0-85112-673-1.
  3. ^ a b c Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. p. 126. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  4. ^ Don Wilcock, "Chicago Bluesman Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Dead At 83", Nippertown, December 28, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022

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