Bassist Snapper Mitchum grew up in Chicago. His mother was a Jazz singer and sang with people like Dakota Staton, Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, and Jack McDuff. He had an uncle who played guitar. Snapper always loved the guitar and would play around with one whenever he got the chance. When he was 12 years old, Snapper would sneak across the street from his grandmother’s house to Chicago’s acclaimed south side club Theresa’s. He’d peek through the window to see Hound Dog Taylor, Junior Wells, James Cotton and many other favorite performers.
After two tours of duty in Vietnam, he came home to Chicago and lived next door to blues musician Phil Guy. Snapper had been learning to play guitar and would jam often with Guy. At the suggestion of Phil Guy, Snapper switched to bass. He pawned his guitar, bought a bass, and started going to clubs like Theresa’s and the Checkerboard Lounge to sit in and jam with whoever might be performing there. At that time he was influenced and played with Bass player, Herman Applewhite and another bassist known as "Train." Later he met guitarist Sammy Lawhorn who also taught him about good blues bass playing.
The Checkerboard in those days had a jam session all day and all night on Monday’s and Snapper became a regular there for about three years. He then became a member of Johnny Dollar’s band. Then he discovered another blues club called Queen Bee’s, and Queen Bee hired Snapper to be the house bassist, playing every night except Mondays. At Queen Bee’s he had the chance to perform with many of the big name bands. It was at Queen Bee’s that Snapper first played with Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Lefty Dizz, Koko Taylor and A.C. Reed to name just a few.
Snapper broke onto the International scene when Chicago guitarist Son Seals heard him performing at Queen Bee’s and hired him to play with his band. Snapper performed and recorded with the Son Seals Blues Band for the next 10 years.
Snapper struck out on his own and formed his own band Snapper & The Blues Invaders in his new home base Dayton, Ohio for a handful of years, when he again moved back to Chicago where he freelanced until joining Geneva Red & The Roadsters.
Snapper’s Discography includes:
Bobby King - Bobby King - MCM 1975
Son Seals - Midnight Son - Alligator 1977
Son Seals - Live And Burning - Alligator 1978
Son Seals - Chicago Fire - Alligator 1980
Various artists - Blues Deluxe - Alligator 1980
Snapper & The Blues Invaders - Born In The Ghetto - 1985
Geneva Red & The Roadsters - Gettin' Cocky - Bottle Cap 2005