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In The News:  Page 2
Blues Legend, Johnnie Johnson, to Lead WV Festival. July 2004
Page 1:  Bill Stalnaker Wins Arts and Humanities Music Award, October 2003
Page 2:  Blues Legend to Lead Fairmont, West Virginia Festival. July 2004
Page 3:  The Father of Rock 'N Roll, Johnnie Johnson, dies at 80. April 2005
Page 4:  Fairmont, WV Remembers Native Son, Johnnie Johnson. April 2005
Page 5:  Johnnie's New CD:  Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad! Recorded Late 2004

Johnnie Johnson performing in Clarksburg, WV.

BluesBlues Legend to Lead W.Va. Festival
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thursday, July 08, 2004
www.post-gazette.com/pg/04190/343130.stm
By Ed Masley

Johnnie Johnson played piano on some of the most inspired, most enduring records of rock 'n' roll's first decade.

And it's all because his saxophonist called in sick on New Year's Eve in 1952.

Johnson brought in a fledgling St. Louis guitarist, Chuck Berry, who'd been playing professionally for only maybe six months, "I asked him to sit in for me that night. And that night lasted many years."

Johnnie Johnson in Clarksburg, WV
Photo by Deena Alansky

He could tell from start, he says, that Berry was a different breed.

"We were doing standards back in that time, and what Chuck came in there doing, this rock 'n' roll, it was a novelty thing," he says. "There wasn't no black American doing hillbilly music."

No one sounded like Chuck Berry by the time the Johnnie Johnson Trio came to Chess Records in 1955, the same year Berry "motorvated" all the way to No. 5 on the U.S. pop charts with a hillbilly-flavored car-chase song called "Maybellene." It also spent 11 weeks at No. 1 on the R&B charts.

And the hits kept coming, positioning Berry as both the archetypal rock 'n' roll guitarist and the poet laureate of pre-Bob Dylan rock 'n' roll: "Roll Over Beethoven." "School Day." "Rock & Roll Music." "Sweet Little Sixteen." "Johnny B. Goode." "Carol." "Almost Grown." "Back in the U.S.A."

And those were just the hits. The album cuts were often better.
Read the Full Article:  www.post-gazette.com/pg/04190/343130.stm

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Times West Virginian

The Times West Virginian printed some articles about
the Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Festival in 2003.

Below are some excerpts from those articles.

Come and Jam with Johnnie and Friends
Thursday, July 03, 2003, Fairmont, WV. By Kelly Barth

Blues & jazz fest brings legend back to his hometown...It’s only in its second year, but the three-day Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Festival has some new twists this year. During its run, July 11-13, at Palatine Park, food vendors will set up shop closer to the music and in addition to the hot sandwiches, sweet treats and other munchies, beer and wine will also be available. But just like the last festival, this one, too, promises to bring international recording and award-winning acts to town.

On the traditional side, Big Bill Morganfield, son of blues legend Muddy Waters, will be on the bill, but the Codetalkers will also be sharing their alternative sound of the south with the festival goers. The festival is named in honor of Fairmont native Johnnie Johnson, a musician that helped shape and create what we now know as Rock and Roll. Chuck Berry’s song “Johnny B. Goode” is a tribute to Johnson, a fact that was an obscure footnote in Fairmont’s history until Bill Stalnaker of the Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Society Inc. brought it to the public’s attention.

Big Acts Hitting Stage
Thursday, July 10, 2003, Fairmont, WV. By Kelly Barth

Three-day festival centers around legendary native son Johnnie Johnson...The second annual Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Festival begins Friday, opening three days of music, food and fun in Palatine Park that center around a native son and music industry legend.

The Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Society’s Bill Stalnaker said this year’s festival promises to again bring scheduled international recording and award-winning acts to town. “We should have some pretty big acts hitting the stage on Friday,” Stalnaker said. “We’re getting a lot of e-mails from a lot of people who are excited about the lineup this year.” An opening act Friday is Big Bill Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, who will be taking the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Page 1:  Bill Stalnaker Wins Arts and Humanities Music Award, October 2003
Page 2:  Blues Legend to Lead Fairmont, West Virginia Festival. July 2004
Page 3:  The Father of Rock 'N Roll, Johnnie Johnson, dies at 80. April 2005
Page 4:  Fairmont, WV Remembers Native Son, Johnnie Johnson. April 2005
Page 5:  Johnnie's New CD:  Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad! Recorded Late 2004


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