Johnny Young was truly one of the greatest Chicago bluesman. Though he never achieved the level of fame equal to his talent, his recordings will stand as primary examples of definitive Chicago blues. He possessed a commanding voice, a propulsive guitar style and a wonderfully unique approach to blues mandolin. Because his career never received the profile of many of his contemporaries, the photos available are somewhat limited – but we have some good ones! Please enjoy our photo tribute to this unsung hero of Chicago blues! Special thanks to Stefan Wirz, Illinois Slim, and The Real Blues Forum for essential help in compiling this photo page.
Johnny Young at Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. Photo by Jeff Todd Titon.
Johnny Young in session! Photo Ann Charters.
Johnny Young and Big Walter Horton, at the Chicago The Blues Today session, 1965. Photo Ann Charters.
Johnny Young with mandolin!
The back cover for Johnny Young / Back To Chicago (thanks Steve Wirz)
Johnny Young’s first release!
Johnny Young was a featured revue artist in the Bob Riedy Chicago Blues Band. That’s Johnny Young slumping in the center of the album cover.
Another Bob Riedy album featuring Johnny Young. That’s Big Walter Horton and Johnny Young on the cover!
Big Walter Horton and Johnny Young. Photo Chris Strachwitz.
Johnny Young at the Maxwell Street market with Houston Phillips on drums, Big John Wrencher on harmonica and Carey Bell on bass. Photo by Pete Welding.
Johnny Young and Big John Wrencher. Photo Clas Ahlstrsnd.
Johnny Young and Charlie Musselwhite playing on Maxwell Street!
Johnny Young. Photo by Stanley Livingston.
From the Chicago Seed underground newspaper, June 15, 1970 – a rare but short interview with blues mandolin great Johnny Young. Courtesy Scott Dirks.
Johnny Young obituary courtesy Illinois Slim.