Johnny Shines, 76, one of the last of the original "Delta...

Deaths elsewhere

April 21, 1992

Johnny Shines, 76, one of the last of the original "Delta blues" guitarists and singers, died yesterday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He had been hospitalized since March 18, when his left leg was amputated because of hardening of the arteries. A native of Frayser, Tenn., he spent much of his youth in Mississippi playing acoustic blues with such legendary musicians as Robert Johnson. He moved to Chicago and became a mainstay on the electric blues scene, playing on dozens of records under his own name and as a sideman to other blues musicians. By the late 1950s, he was all but out of the music business and was working as a laborer. In 1965, he was rediscovered by blues historians and began playing at festivals across the country and in Europe. "Blues is like death," he said in a 1982 interview. "Blues is when you are lost. Blues is when you are depressed but don't know why you are depressed."

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