Johnny Shines -- an Interview

Series produced by David Kattenburg

Caption: Johnny Shines, Credit: unknown / web
Image by: unknown / web 
Johnny Shines 

FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH: 1986 Interview with Mississippi Delta blues great Johnny Shines.

In the summer of 1986, four Canadians drove down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to meet and interview Mississippi Delta blues great, Johnny Shines. Shines was a road buddy of American classic Robert Johnson and a long-time partner of Johnson's stepson, Robert Junior Lockwood. Johnny Shines had had a successful, though not overly celebrated career, and had just released a new album with Lockwood.

In the summer of 86, Shines was living in a pleasant housing district just outside Tuscaloosa. He was starting to perform again, around town, with a group of young folks called the Kokomo Blues Band. Johnny greated us with grace and humour, and even played a couple of songs for us, which appear here. Shines had suffered a series of strokes a few years prior and had difficulty fingering with his left hand. But his voice was supple and strong.

I'll divide this interview up into four parts. Lots of memories of Robert Johnson here; of Chester Burnett (Howling Wolf) and other Delta/Chicago blues artists of the time. Also stuff on the challenges of black recording, juke joints and what life was like for a black blues guy. Hide full description

In the summer of 1986, four Canadians drove down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to meet and interview Mississippi Delta blues great, Johnny Shines. Shines was a road buddy of American classic Robert Johnson and a long-time partner of Johnson's stepson, Robert Junior Lockwood. Johnny Shines had had a successful, though not overly celebrated career, and had just released a new album with Lockwood. In the summer of 86, Shines was living in a pleasant housing district just outside Tuscaloosa. He was starting to perform again, around town, with a group of young folks called the Kokomo Blues Band. Johnny greated us with grace and humour, and even played a couple of songs for us, which appear here. Shines had suffered a series of strokes a few years prior and had difficulty fingering with his left... Show full description


4 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Johnny Shines, Credit: unknown / web
FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH: The last of a 4-part interview with Mississippi Delta blues great, Johnny Shines.

  • Added: Feb 06, 2009
  • Length: 26:37
Caption: Johnny Shines, Credit: unknown / web
FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH: The third of a 4-part interview with Mississippi Delta blues great, Johnny Shines.

  • Added: Feb 06, 2009
  • Length: 18:11
Caption: Johnny Shines, Credit: unknown / web
FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH: The second of a 4-part interview with Mississippi Delta blues great, Johnny Shines.

  • Added: Feb 06, 2009
  • Length: 07:47
Caption: Johnny Shines, Credit: unknown / web
FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH: The first of a 4-part interview with Mississippi Delta blues great, Johnny Shines.

  • Added: Feb 06, 2009
  • Length: 29:05