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Johnny Shines

Johnny Shines on the cover of Blue Labor (BL 110)
Background information
Birth name John Ned Shines
Born April 26, 1915(1915-04-26)
Origin Frayser, Tennessee
Died April 20, 1992 (aged 76)
Genres Blues
Instruments guitar
Years active 1932 – 1992
Labels Chess Records
J.O.B. Records
Vanguard Records
Various

Johnny Shines (April 26, 1915 – April 20, 1992[1]) was an American blues singer and guitarist. According to the music journalist Tony Russell, "Shines was that rare being, a blues artist who overcame age and rustiness to make music that stood up beside the work of his youth. When Shines came back to the blues in 1965 he was 50, yet his voice had the leonine power of a dozen years before, when he made records his reputation was based on".[2]

Contents

Biography

He was born John Ned Shines in Frayser, Tennessee.[1] He spent most of his childhood in Memphis, Tennessee playing slide guitar at an early age in local “jukes” and for tips on the streets.[1] He was "inspired by the likes of Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, and the young Howlin' Wolf",[1] but he was taught to play the guitar by his mother.[1] Shines moved to Hughes, Arkansas in 1932 and worked on farms for three years putting his musical career on hold.[3] It was this chance meeting with Robert Johnson, his greatest influence, that gave him the inspiration to return to music.[1] In 1935, Shines began traveling with Johnson, touring the south and heading as far north as Ontario where they appeared on a local radio program.[1] The two went their separate ways in 1937, one year before Johnson's death.[3]

Shines played throughout the southern United States until 1941 when he settled in Chicago.[2] There Shines found work in the construction industry but continued to play in local bars.[1]

He made his first recording in 1946 for Columbia Records, but the takes were never released.[2] He recorded for Chess in 1950, and was once again denied release.[2] He kept playing with local blues musicians in the Chicago area for several more years. In 1952, Shines recorded what is considered his best work for the J.O.B. Records label.[1] The recordings were a commercial failure and Shines, frustrated with the music industry, sold his equipment and returned to construction.[1]

In 1966, Vanguard Records found Shines taking photographs in a Chicago blues club and had him record tracks for the third installment of Chicago/The Blues/Today![1] The album has since then become a blues classic and it brought Shines into the mainstream music scene.[1]

Shines toured with the Chicago All Stars alongside Lee Jackson, Big Walter Horton and Willie Dixon.[1] In the late 1960s and 1970s, Shines toured with Robert Johnson's stepson, Robert Lockwood, Jr. as the last remaining original delta blues musicians.[2] In 1980, Shines' music was brought to a standstill when he suffered a stroke.[2] He would later appear in the documentary Searching for Robert Johnson and manage to release one last album, Back To The Country, which won a W.C. Handy Award.[1] It featured playing from Snooky Prior and Johnny Nicholas.[2]

In 1989, Shines met a young, Minnesota-born blues player, Kent Duchaine, and the two of them toured for the next several years until Shines' death.[4]

Shines died on 20 April 1992, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.[1] He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame later the same year.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Biography by Steve Huey". Allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=JOHNNY|SHINES&sql=11:gpfqxqegldde~T1. Retrieved May 27, 2009.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 166. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.  
  3. ^ a b Johnny Shines interviewed by John Hammond Jr. in The Search for Robert Johnson (DVD 1992)
  4. ^ Kentduchaine.com

Further reading

  • Blues Who's Who, Sheldon Harris, Da Capo, 1979, ISBN 0-306-80155-8
  • The Search for Robert Johnson, John Hammond, Columbia Legacy, 1982, ISBN 0-7389-0079-6

External links

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Simple English

Johnny Shines (April 26 1915April 20 1992) was an American blues singer and guitarist.

Contents

Life

He was called John Ned Shines when he was born, in Frayser, Tennessee. He spent most of his childhood in Memphis playing slide guitar for money on the streets. He listened to and was inspired by Blind Lemon Jefferson and Howlin’ Wolf, but he was taught to play the guitar by his mother. Shines moved to Hughes, Arkansas in 1932 and worked on farms for three years.[1] "First time I came to Helena was 1932, I think it was. That's the time I met Robert the first time." When he met Robert Johnson, his greatest influence, that gave him inspiration to return to music. In 1935, Shines began playing with Johnson around the south and heading as far north as Ontario where they appeared on a local radio program. The two split up in 1937, one year before Johnson died.[2] "He (Johnson) was alright to travel with, he was a good companion to travel with, 'cos he talked a lot and I didn't."

Shines played more in the U.S. South until 1941 when he decided to go back to Canada and then to Africa. He never made it past Chicago. In Chicago, Shines found work in the construction trade and continued to play in bars.

He made his first recording in 1946 for Columbia Records, but the music was never released. He later recorded for Chess was still the music was never released. He kept playing with blues musicians in the Chicago area for several more years. In 1952, Shines recorded for J.O.B. Records record label. The recordings were a failure and Shines sold his guitar and went back to construction.

In 1966, Vanguard Records found Shines taking photographs in a Chicago blues club and had him record tracks for the third installment of Chicago/The Blues/Today! The album has since then become a blues classic.

Shines played with the Chicago All Stars and Lee Jackson, Big Walter Horton and Willie Dixon. In the late 1960s and 1970s, Shines played with Robert Johnson's stepson, Robert Lockwood, Jr.. In 1980, Shines stopped played after he suffered a stroke. He managed to release one last album, Back To The Country.

In 1989, Shines met a young, blues player called Kent Duchaine, and the two of them played together for the next several years until Shines died.[3]

Shines died on 20 April 1992, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was put into the Blues Hall of Fame later the same year.

References

  1. Johnny Shines interviewed by John Hammond in The Search for Robert Johnson
  2. Johnny Shines interviewed by John Hammond in The Search for Robert Johnson
  3. http://www.kentduchaine.com/bio.html Kentduchaine.com

Further reading

Other websites


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