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.