Detroiter Seeks Recognition
for Rock Pioneer Johnnie Johnson
Detroit Free Press, August 16, 1999
George Turek, has
been trying for years to get the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland
to recognize the efforts of Johnnie
Johnson, left, who composed for Chuck
Berry. "Johnny B. Goode"
was Berry's tribute to Johnson.
AS Detroit-born businessman
George Turek left a meeting at the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland
earlier this month, he sensed he was
about to realize his life's dream.
In the last five years, he'd spent
countless hours and a small fortune
trying to get the rock 'n' roll industry
to recognize the contributions of
his best friend, pianist Johnnie Johnson.
George Turek and
his fiancee, Linda Nutter, were listening
to a blues band in Memphis, Tenn.,
in 1992 when George wondered: Why
not fly the band up to Detroit for
their wedding? By then, his medical
management company was a national
corporation. Money was no object.
Weeks before the
1993 wedding, the band canceled. Desperate,
George remembered that his brother
had bought another band's CD in Memphis.
"I listened to that CD and knew
immediately, I had to have that band,"
George remembers during a phone interview.
The CD was "Johnnie B. Bad,"
and the performer was pianist Johnnie
Turek has lobbied
tirelessly for Johnson to be inducted
in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He self-published a hardcover biography
of Johnson's life, "Father of
Rock & Roll: The Story of Johnnie
'B. Goode' Johnson," written
by his stepson, Travis Fitzpatrick.
He has organized a petition drive
signed by the likes of Keith Richards,
Bo Diddley and Little Richard.
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