The Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Society, Inc. Celebrating Hometown Legend, Johnnie Johnson!
Home Page Learn About Johnnie You Are Here! News Photo Gallery Sites To Visit
Sponsors Donate Contact Information
In The News:  Page 3
The Father of Rock 'N Roll, Johnnie Johnson, dies at 80. April 2005
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
Pianist Johnnie Johnson Left Rocking Legacy
NPR's Noah Adams Reports on the Death of Johnnie Johnson
Day to Day, April 15, 2005 · Rock 'n' roll piano pioneer Johnnie Johnson, the keyboard artist behind many rock classics, including "Johnnie B. Goode" and "Maybellene," died April 13 at his home in St. Louis. He was 80. *Click here to downlaod and play this Audio File in Windows Media Player.
Visitation And Jam Session Held For Johnnie Johnson
KSDK Channel 5, NBC Affiliate in St. Louis, 4/22/2005
By Jeff Small (KSDK) - Visitation for blues legend Johnnie Johnson is being held Thursday and a day-long musical celebration is taking place. Workers were busy Thursday morning putting on all the final touches on what is an extraordinary event to honor Johnson. The visitation is being called a "home-going" celebration like none other. Ten tour buses of local and national musicians are expected to be at the visitation and jam session. *Read the Full Article
Rock 'N Roll Legend Johnnie Johnson Laid To Rest
KSDK Channel 5, NBC Affiliate in St. Louis
Submitted by Jeff Small (KSDK) -- Funeral services were held Friday afternoon for blues legend Johnnie Johnson. The service was an emotional, musical tribute by loved ones from around the world. Friends and family say the music maestro wanted to go home to sweet sounds. A wish granted with songs Johnson loved to hear and play. The uplifting spirit was not only heard, but felt thoughout the pews of St. Paul Lutheran Church. Friends and church members say they often forgot Johnson was a celebrity. They say he was so down to earth and humble without any hint of arrogance. *Read Article
Johnnie Johnson Dies:  Pianist was inspiration
for Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode"
Rolling Stone Magazine:  Click Here to Read the Full Article
Rock & roll pioneer Johnnie Johnson died yesterday of natural causes at eighty years old. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee collaborated with Chuck Berry for nearly thirty years, and was the inspiration for Berry's seminal 1958 hit "Johnny B. Goode." In 1953, the rock and blues pianist invited the young Berry to join his band, the Sir John Trio. Berry quickly took over, and the band soon produced such Fifties classics as "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Sweet Little Sixteen." The two parted ways in 1973 and then reunited in 1986 for Berry's sixtieth birthday performance in St. Louis, documented in Taylor Hackford's Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll. *Read full article.
Keith Remembers Johnnie
Stones guitarist reflects on friend, idol Johnson
Rolling Stone Magazine:  Read the Full Article
"It's a sad day," says Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, mourning his idol and good friend Johnnie Johnson. "I've been playing Chuck Berry records all day, listening to Johnnie."

Johnson died on Wednesday at his home in St. Louis, at the age of eighty, after recent bouts with pneumonia and a kidney ailment. With his death, rock & roll lost a vital link to its roots in the Chicago boogie-woogie of Meade Lux Lewis and the jumping-piano jazz of Earl Hines and Count Basie. Born on July 8th, 1924, in Fairmont, Virginia, Johnson was the son of a coal miner and entirely self-taught on the piano. By the early Fifties, he was in St. Louis, leading his own combo. But on New Year's Eve 1952, Johnson hired a struggling, local guitarist, Chuck Berry, to sit in for another member of the band. Johnson quickly ceded the limelight to Berry's guitar and songs, and both of their lives were changed forever.

Johnson went on to become the greatest sideman in rock & roll, at the very moment the music was being born. He played on most of Berry's biggest and best records of the Fifties and early Sixties, including "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Memphis, Tennessee," "Little Queenie" and "Nadine (Is It You?)." Johnson played with Berry, on and off, into the Seventies, until personal tensions, compounded by Johnson's drinking, caused Johnson to retire back to St. Louis. He was driving a van for the elderly when Keith Richards brought him out of retirement to play at the 1986 shows filmed for the Chuck Berry concert movie, Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll.  *ReadFull Article

Johnnie Johnson dies at 80
By Kevin C. Johnson, Post-Dispatch, 04/13/2005
Boogie-woogie blues ‘n’ rock artist Johnnie Johnson, a stalwart on St. Louis’ music scene for several decades, died early Wednesday morning of natural causes in his St. Louis home, according to a publicist at Talent Consultants International in New York City. He was 80. Eric Clapton once called Johnson the best blues pianist in the world, and his work can be heard on a number of Chuck Berry classics, including "School Days" and "Back in the U.S.A." Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. *Read the Full Article

Johnnie Johnson Tribute Concert
By Kevin C. Johnson, Post-Dispatch Pop Music Critic, 04/30/2005

Tom "Papa" Ray called Friday night at the Pageant "the hippest place to be on the whole planet," while Joe Edwards summed it up as the "greatest assemblage of blues musicians you will ever see on stage." The reason for the overwhelming absolutes was the tribute concert to rock/blues pianist Johnnie Johnson, who died last month. Dozens of mostly blues acts gathered at the Pageant Friday in recognition of Johnson, with many of them honoring him through dedicated song choices to the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer or his widow Frances Johnson, seated with family and her husband's old friend, Henry Townsend. The event, hosted by Ray and Bernie Hayes and organized in about a week's time by St. Louis Blues Society's John May, was a sell-out. "Johnnie Johnson is still packing the house," a teary Rondo of Rondo's Blues Deluxe said after his winning rendition of "Hootchie Coochie Man."  *Read the Full Article.
Johnnie Johnson
St. Louis’ Boogie Woogie Hero, Johnnie Johnson, died April 13th at his home in North St. Louis at the age of 80. Those familiar with St. Louis’ blues community know it’s nothing new to bury one of the elder musicians. Tommy Bankhead and Oliver Sain come immediately to mind when thinking of recently fallen icons, but none has touched the lives of so many around the world as Johnnie Johnson, Father of Rock’n’Roll.  *Read the Full Article
The Johnnie Johnson Memorial Concert
Held at the Pageant in St. Louis on April 29th, 2005
One of the most beloved musical talents St. Louis has ever known - Mr. Johnnie Johnson - was paid homage by a sold out house of fans and a endless procession of artists awaiting their turn on stage at the Johnnie Johnson Memorial Concert held at the Pageant on April 29th, 2005... A 'who's who' of St. Louis Blues talent - over 16 acts - displayed once again that St. Louis is a world class music town. Kudos to John May and the St. Louis Blues Society for pulling this show off in under 10 days - "they told me I couldn't do it". But do it he did, and it will go down in STLBlues history as one of the best Blues concerts ever held in this town.  *Read the Full Article
Johnnie Johnson - May His Music Be Eternal
STLBlues.Net Tribute Page to Mr. Johnnie Johnson
St. Louis lost a musical treasure with the passing of a legend, Mr.Johnnie Johnson. Long a fixture here on the St. Louis music scene, Johnnie passed quietly away in his sleep on April 13th, 2005. Right up until the end, Johnnie was out there doing what he loved best, rocking the 88's like no one else! We'll always have the gift of his 80th birthday party at the Botanical Garden, his incredible Old Webster Fest appearances, and countless others, including the honor of his performance at the 2005 STLBlues concert.  *Read the Full Article
Rock & Roll Hall Of Famer Johnnie Johnson dies at 80
WKYC Channel 3, NBC Affiliate in Cleveland Ohio
Wednesday, April 13, 2005:  ST. LOUIS -- Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Johnnie Johnson died Wednesday morning. Johnson is best known for his longtime collaboration with Chuck Berry. He was 80 years old. n the 1950s, Johnson was a local bandleader who hired Chuck Berry to fill in when another band member was ill on New Year's Eve. That was the beginning of a decades-long partnership that landed both men in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.Legend has it that Berry's rock and roll classic Johnny B. Goode was named after Johnnie Johnson.  *Read the Full Article.
Back To Top
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


Back To Top