Born John Ned Shines in Frayser, Tennesee, in 1915, Johnny Shines spent his early formative years on Beale Street in Memphis where Blind Lemon Jefferson was an early influence. In his teens he moved to Helena, Arkansaw, where he met Howlin' Wolf in 1932. However Shines met the greatest influence on his playing when he was 20 years old when he was introduced to Robert Johnson.  They became great friends and musical allies and they travelled together across the southern US states, Chicago and Canada. After Johnson died, Shines settled in Chicago in 1941, where he worked as a janitor during the day and played the bars and juke joints at night.  Although he was at his musical peak in the 1940's and 1950's, helping lay the ground work for Chicago's electrified, small band blues, he recorded relatively few tracks and making little money, he quit the music business in 1958. During the blues revival period of the 1960's he returned to the club and festival stages circuit both in the USA and in Europe. He released three albums on Rounder in the late 1970's, two of them in collaboration with Robert Jr. Lockwood. Although hampered by a stroke, he recorded for the final time in 1991, supported by Snooky Pryor, returning to his country blues roots. Johnny Shines died in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1992 aged 76.