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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Johnny Shines -- Blood Ran Like Wine

Blues on Thursday!

John "Johnny" Ned Shines was born April 25, 1915 in Frayser (Frazier), Tennessee. When he was six, he moved to Memphis where he later played at Juke joints and parties, following the usual career path for Blues musicians. Early in his career, Howlin' Wolf's music was his biggest influence -- so it is no coincidence that Johnny's nickname was Little Wolf.
In 1934, he met Robert Johnson whom he accompanied on his gigs throughout the South, and Johnny clearly shaped his own style after Robert Johnson's Blues.
Frustrated with the music business and royalty issues, he gave up playing in 1958, but returned in 1966 after being re-discovered while working as a photographer in a blues club. In 1966 he recorded Chicago: The Blues Today  (Vanguard) which re-ignited his career.
In the late 60's Johnny moved to Alabama, playing the Delta Blues and becoming one of the last Delta Blues legends alive. Despite the effects of a stroke he suffered in 1980, he remained however a "formidable performer" as one of his bios states.
His last appearance was in the early 90's in a documentary about Robert Johnson. He died in 1992 in
Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Throughout his 4 decades long career Johnny played with the greatest of the great in Blues: Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, Honey Boy Edwards, just to mention a few.

Now hear the man himself!

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