Art Schuna

John Brim Interview

Friday, 7 March 2014
john brim photo

John Brim was born in Hopkinsville, KY in 1922 and moved to Chicago in 1947. He first recorded for the Detroit label Fortune in 1950 playing the guitar with his wife Grace on harmonica and taking on the vocals. Big Maceo Merriweather backed them on piano, but due to his stroke only did the left hand part. James Watkins was Big Maceo’s right hand man. He recorded for a number of labels in Chicago including Parrot, Chance, JOB and Chess. He’s probably best known for the song “Ice Cream” man recorded by Chess in 1953, but not released until 1969 on a compilation LP, Whose Muddy Shoes. This song has been covered by many others over the years. Art interviewed John Brim in November 2001 for his show. He was never happy about the quality of this phone interview and didn’t broadcast it until several years later when it was used it as part of a radio special. Brim died 2 years after this interview. more »

Texas Johnny Brown

Monday, 22 July 2013

Houston bluesman Texas Johnny Brown died July 1, 2013 at age 85. He was born John Riley Brown in Choctaw County, Missisippi on February 22, 1928. He began in the music business as a member of the Aladdin Chickenshackers and made his first recordings for the Aladdin label backing Amos Milburn as a member of that band. He had a lengthy career and backed a number of artists in addition to Milburn including Ruth Brown, Joe Hinton, Lavelle White, Buddy Ace, Junior Parker and Bobby Blue Bland. He was a frequent studio musician for Duke and Peacock labels in the 1950s. Brown may be most noted for writing the Bobby Bland hit, “Two Steps From the Blues” which became the title song for Bland’s 1961 LP. He stepped away from the music business for a time from the 1960s to the early 1990s. Four of Brown’s recordings from 1949 appear on the Atlantic compilation Atlantic Blues Guitar. Brown finally released an album under his own name, Nothin’ But the Truth in 1996 on the Choctaw Creek label and followed this up with Blues Defender in 2002. Both of these albums are highly recommended if you can find them. I interviewed Texas Johnny Brown in 2002. Click on the title above to access the interview. more »

Bobby Blue Bland Interview

Friday, 14 December 2012
bobby blue bland

Bobby Blue Bland was booked into a club in Madison called Luther’s Blues in 2004. It was a great performance space with seating designed to give good sight lines from anywhere. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to interview one of the truly great blues vocalists of our time. more »

Bo Diddley Interview

Tuesday, 27 November 2012
bo diddley

    I interviewed Bo Diddley in 2006 prior to a concert appearance here in Madison. He had a lot to say about his career and the music industry. Not all of it good. Click on the title above to hear the interview. more »

My Philosophy of Record Collecting

Monday, 22 October 2012
snoopy cartoon

  Gee I must feel low pretty often… What better way to get cheer up than to buy a few blues records? I remember when I was in college, many years ago, I’d usually stop by the local record store after an exam and buy a few records. Art more »

Two for the Blues

rev. 52M