2.17.2009

JOHNNY RIVERS!



I have to say that one of my most favorite singers of all time is the soulful and rocking Johnny Rivers. (born John Henry Ramistella, 7 November 1942, in New York) What a unique musician! Johnny has one of the most signature voices in music history. All it takes is two words of lyric for the listener to know it's Johnny. Standing on the Mountain looking down at the city...

Johnny rocks that guitar out on Secret Agent Man which we still jump around the room playing air guitar when we hear it! Seventh Son... same thing. Can't keep my feet from tapping or fingers from snapping. Don't think there has ever been anyone who injected such personality into the music. Not to mention he was a hot looking guy in the 60's. He looked like a city guy with a very country rockabilly style. The closest we come to him now is another of my much loved singer/guitar guys Chris Isaak.

When Johnny covered a song no one minded. (Unlike Pat Boone) He made the song as good if not better than the original. What other singer could cover a Chuck Berry tune? Johnny could.

Johnny Rivers had seventeen songs on the charts from 1964 to 1977. He was versatile enough to do folk songs, blues, covers of old-time rock-and-roll songs, and some original material, all of them in his own very unique style. He is also songwriter, guitarist, performer and producer.

Personally my favorites of JR's records are Mountain of Love and Memphis. Johnny Rivers was really ahead of his time in starting Rivers Music and his own label Soul City Records in 1966.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was November of 1966 when we were booked into JD's Nightclub in Scottsdale Arizona with our Southern California Psychedelic Light Company. Johnny Rivers was the headliner upstairs in the two story club. We were downstairs in the Riverbottom Room lighting up the Mike Condello Band and both floors were packed. Our crowd was the local hippies and Arizona State University students and Johnny attracted an older more mature audience but both floors really rocked out that night until four o'clock in the morning.

After the show the club owners, Jim Musil Sr. & Jr. took all of us up the Safari Hotel Coffee Shop for breakfast where Johnny was the star attraction there also. We got to spend the next 10 days with Johnny and it was a rocking good time every night.
There was a french street scene painting in the dressing room that he signed, "Poor Side of Town"...About a year later we booked a concert at Northern Arizona University and made radio spots for the show in Navaho as he was very popular on the Rez. I had given the radio station a headsup as to what time we would come into range and sure enough when we topped the Rim on came the spots in Navaho and Johnny just flipped out and demanded I get him a copy of the tape for his archives. The show was a sell out and about half the audience was from Navaho...Thanks for the memorys, Kim.

Bob Gately

RetroKimmer said...

Great story thanks so much Bob!

Marlon said...

Hello! just a quick drop, I apologize because I stole a photo here, visit my site so you'll see and also pls update my link here on your site, the "Cute blogger Badge" I transferred the url to a different one. Thanks...

Johnny Vandal said...

Great Show! Thanks for the info!

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