Guitarist/vocalist John Primer has traveled a legendary path in the blues to become a legend in his own right. Born in Camden, Mississippi on March 5, 1945, John relocated to Chicago with his mother in 1963. John’s blues career started in 1974, playing guitar alongside Sammy Lawhorn in the house band at Theresa’s Lounge on Chicago’s Southside. It was there that John backed up Junior Wells and James Cotton on a nightly basis. He then joined Willie Dixon’s Blues All-Stars for a brief stint before joining the Muddy Waters Band for 3 years (until Muddy’s passing), and then a 14 year run with Magic Slim & The Teardrops. During his time with Slim, John also served as an A&R man for Wolf Records, organizing numerous recording sessions with various Chicago artists, providing a important documentation of that time period. Wolf Records launched John Primer’s solo career with the 1991 release of Poor Man Blues and John has not looked back since. While touring the world extensively and releasing a steady stream of high-quality releases, John has somehow found the time to collaborate with Bob Corritore. Though they both travel in different orbits, when they do get together, they celebrate their common bond of Chicago Blues with some critically acclaimed recordings and live performances. Please enjoy this photo page which celebrates the magnificent John Primer!
John Primer. Photo Eric Kriesant.
A very young John Primer. Photo courtesy Lisa Becker Primer.
John Primer. Photo courtesy of Lisa Becker Primer.
John Primer. Photo courtesy Lisa Becker Primer.
Sammy Lawhorn and John Primer at Theresa’s Lounge, Chicago, 1977. Photo Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) at 1980 Chicago Jazz Festival, John Primer, guitar.
John Primer at the North Sea Jazz Festival, The Hague, The Netherlands (as Muddy Waters’ guitar player), 1981. Photo Gerard Robs courtesy Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
Ernest Johnson, John Primer, Muddy Waters at the 1981 Niagra Falls Blues Festival. Photo courtesy Inger Tellefsen.
John Primer photo from the 1980s by Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
Nate Applewhite, Lucky Peterson, John Primer, Magic Slim.
John Primer performing at the Banana Peel, Ruiselede, Belgium in 1990. Photo Pierre Degeneffe, courtesy Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
John Primer (on the right) with Magic Slim & The Teardrops. Photo courtesy of Rien Wisse/Block Magazine Archives.
John Primer getting down with Magic Slim & The Teardrops with Nick Holt in the background.
Left to right: Andrew Odom, Lucky Peterson, Little Milton, Nate Applewhite, John Primer. Photo courtesy of Lisa Becker Primer.
Charles Camese, Sammy Lawhorn, James Cotton, Junior Wells, John Primer at Theresa’s Lounge.
John Primer, 1994, Burnley Blues Festival, U.K., photographer Brian Smith.
Magic Slim and John Primer.
John Primer and Magic Slim, 2000 Lucerne Blues Festival, Switzerland. Photo by Les Irvine (Blues & Rhythm Magazine archives)
John Primer. Photo courtesy Blues Magazine Netherlands.
John Primer and Magic Slim. Photo courtesy Lisa Becker Primer.
John Primer and Magic Slim. Photo courtesy of Lisa Becker Primer.
Photo by Dave Blake.
John Primer and Bob Corritore, Memphis at the BMA pre-party, 2012.
Blues super-group at the 2012 Lucerne Blues Festival: Barrelhouse Chuck, Elmore James, Jr., Bob Corritore, Bob Stroger, Billy Flynn, John Primer. Photo by Art Tipaldi.
John Primer, Hard Rock Cafe, Memphis, 2012.
L-R: Bob Corritore, John Primer, Willie Hayes, Billy Flynn, Melvin Smith in 2012.
John Primer, Willie Hayes, Melvin Smith at Centre Cultural de Beggan in Beggan, Luxembourg on the Chicago Blues Festival Tour – November 30th, 2012. Photo by Bob Corritore.
Photo Bob Corritore.
Bob Corritore and John Primer at the 2012 Lucerne Blues Festival. Photo Thomas Torkler.
Bob Stroger, John Primer, Elmore James Jr. at the 2012 Lucerne Blues Festival, Switzerland.
John Primer somewhere in Europe in 2012. Photo by Bob Corritore.
Bob Corritore, John Primer, Willie Hayes, Peaches Staten, Billy Flynn, Melvin Smith at the Banana Peel in Belgium 2012.
John Primer at Tempest Recording. Photo by Drew Verbis.
John Primer & Bob Corritore, St. George’s Caye Resort, Belize, 2016. Photo Marjani Viola Hawkins.
John Primer at Greaseland, San Jose, CA. Photo Bob Corritore.
John Primer photo by Marjani Viola Hawkins.
John Primer. Photo Amol Art.
John Primer, Bob Corritore, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Rick Lee at the 2014 San Diego Blues Festival.
Bob Corritore & John Primer, filming/recording for Blues Radio International, in Memphis 2017.
John Primer and Bob Corritore at the Hard Rock, Memphis 2017.
John Primer photo by Shark Harrington.
Mark Hummel put together a Chicago blues extravaganza tour in 2018 with (L-R) Billy Flynn, Bob Welsh, Mark Hummel, Oscar Wilson, Deitra Farr, Billy Boy Arnold, R.W. Grigsby, R.J. Mischo, June Core, and John Primer.
John Primer, Elvis Presley, Bob Corritore at the 2018 BMAs.
John Primer and Steve Bell. Photo Eric Kriesant.
John Primer and Bob Corritore at the 2018 Big Blues Bender. Photo Eric Kriesant.
John Primer, June Core, Bob Corritore, Kedar Roy at Biscuits And Blues, San Francisco 2018.
John Primer, Bob Corritore, Bob Margolin, Russell Jackson at the 2018 Big Blues Bender. Photo by Marilyn Stringer.
John, Aliya, and Lisa Primer, a beautiful family. Photo by Eric Kriesant.
John Primer entertains the Rhythm Room with daughter Aliya and wife Lisa in 2019! Photo from the stage by Bob Corritore.
John Primer at Tempest Recording in 2019. Photo Bob Corritore.
The Chicago Blues / A Living History project with (L to R) John Primer, Carlos Johnson, Billy Boy Arnold, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell. Photo by Paul Natkin, courtesy Larry Skoller / Raisin Music Label.
John Primer on the 2019 Blues Cruise. Photo by Dave Blake.
Matthew Skoller, John Primer, Lurrie Bell. Photo by Alex Cruz.
Illustration by Tom Walbank.