Big Jack Johnson
(July 30, 1940– March 14, 2011) was an American electric blues musician, among the “contemporary backers of an edgier, energized variation of the raw, uncut Delta blues audio.” He was just one of a small number of blues artists who played the mandolin. He won a W. C. Handy Award in 2003 for finest acoustic blues cd.
Johnson was born in Lambert, Mississippi, in 1940, among 18 youngsters in his family. His father, Ellis Johnson, was a sharecropper, as well as his household selected cotton, but he was also a specialist artist, leading a band at neighborhood features and playing fiddle and mandolin in country and blues designs. Big Jack got his beginning in songs having fun with his father. In his teenagers, he began playing the electric guitar, drew into the metropolitan audio of B.B. King.
Johnson was nicknamed “The Oil Man”, due to his day job as a common carrier for Shell Oil. He was the daddy of 13 children.
His earliest professional playing, apart from his dad’s act, was with Earnest Roy, Sr., C. V. Veal & the Shufflers, as well as Johnny Dugan & the Esquires.
In 1962, Johnson, Sam Carr and Frank Frost formed the Jelly Roll Kings and the Nighthawks, where Johnson played bass, releasing two albums, Hey Boss Man (1962) and My Back Scratcher (1966). Johnson’s initial recordings as a vocalist are on the 1979 album Rockin’ the Juke Joint Down, issued by Earwig Music. With Frost as the bandleader, they performed and taped with each other for 15 years.
Johnson’s very first solo cd, The Oil Man, including the track “Catfish Blues”, was launched by Earwig in 1987. He taped solo and also as a member of the Jelly Roll Kings and Big Jack Johnson and the Oilers (with poet and also artist Dick Lourie).
He wrote and executed “Jack’s Blues” as well as performed “Catfish Medley” with Samuel L. Jackson on the soundtrack of the film Black Snake Moan. Daddy, When Is Mama Comin Home? (1990) presents social issues.
He subsequently did as well as tape-recorded with the atrioventricular bundle, the Cornlickers, with Dale Wise on drums, Dave Groninger on guitar, Tony Ryder on bass, and also Bobby Gentilo on guitar. They taped the albums Katrina (2009) andBig Jack’s Way (2012).
Johnson died from a concealed health problem on March 14, 2011. Baseding on a member of the family, he had battled with illness in his final years, getting worse to the point that there were wrong reports of his death in the days leading up to it.