Thursday, September 05, 2013
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Brim
Song:Hard Pill To Swallow
Album:Chicago Blues of the 1950's
After recording a handful of singles in the 50s, Chicago bluesman John Brim quit the music business. He returned after his song Ice Cream Man was covered by Van Halen in 1978 and performed until his 2003 death. He was born Apr. 10, 1922 in Hopkinsville, KY. He learned to play guitar listening to Tampa Red and Big Bill Broonzy records. He moved to Indianapolis in 1941 and then moved to Chicago in 1945. In 1947, he met his future wife Grace Millard. She sang and played harmonica and drums. Along with guitarist Eddie Taylor, the Brims worked with Sonny Boy Williamson and Jimmy Reed. Grace sang on a couple of singles released on Random Records in 1950. John Brim recorded with Big Maceo Merriweather. They moved to J.O.B. Records in 1951. Hard Pill to Swallow was recorded in 1952 but was not released at the time. And that's the story of John Brim's career in the 50s. Sunnyland Slim plays piano on Hard Pill To Swallow. Brim played on some of Slim's records and also played with Jimmy Reed and Albert King. Brim was supposed to get his big break when he signed with the Chess label Checker Records. His 1953 song Rattlesnake was an answer song to Big Mama Thornton's smash hit Hound Dog. It should have been a hit. But Chess got cold feet over copyright infringement and pulled the single from release. The single Ice Cream Man wasn't released either. By 1956, John and Grace Brim moved to Gary, IN and decided to quit the music business. They separated in 1964. John Brim owned a dry cleaning business and a record store and performed in clubs occasionally. Then Van Halen recorded Ice Cream Man on their 1978 debut album. Brim made enough money from royalties to open his own nightclub in Chicago. He recorded his first solo CD Ice Cream Man for Tone Cool Records in 1994 and recorded again in 2000. You can get Hard Pill To Swallow and Brim's J.O.B. recordings on this various artists CD from Paula Records. Paula bought J.O.B. in the 70s. John Brim died of a heart attack on Oct. 1, 2003 at age 81. Though he wasn't famous when he was in his prime in the 50s, it's good to see that John Brim got to enjoy some money and fame as a senior. Here's a video for Hard Pill To Swallow by John Brim.