Jimmy Johnson came from a musical family. He became a well-known guitarist and musician in Chicago’s blues community. Johnson’s career started when his family moved to Chicago in 1950. He first worked as a welder. Jimmy bought his first guitar with his money’s worth. Coincidentally, he was neighbors with Magic Sam. Blues legend and Johnson would practice every night with his guitar.
In 1958, he kickstarted his musical career along with Magic Sam, Albert King, Buddy Guy, B.B King, and Otis Clay. The next year, he started to play along with Slim Willis. He changed his surname to Johnson. He first played in the R&B style of music and later transitioned to blues. In the year 1974, he toured alongside Jimmy Dawkins as his rhythm guitarist. Johnson also toured in Japan together with Otis Rush. On the year of 1978, he was able to release his first solo album entitled “Tobacco Road” under the label of Alligator which was a part of a music anthology called “Living Chicago Blues”. Additionally, his album was included in the Delmark issue of Johnson Whacks the following year. With his success in the music industry, he started to gain much more recognition and fame.
Bar Room Preacher
The release of “Bar Room Preacher” by the Alligator pushed Johnson’s career to skyrocket and move to the top list of Chicago bluesmen. Unfortunately, an accident happened in 1988 and he was badly injured from which he became less interested in continuing his music career. However, by the mid-’90s, Johnson was back on the stage for Verve’s “I’m A Jockey” in 1994 and Ruf’s “Every Road Ends” on the consecutive year. Later on the summer of 2002, Jonshon was able to collaborate with his brother Syl with an album titled “Two Johnsons Are Better Than One”.
Johnson died at his home in Harvey, Illinois, on January 31, 2022, at the age of 93.