General Johnson

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For other people named Norman Johnson, see Norman Johnson (disambiguation).
General Johnson
GeneralNormanJohnsonChairmenoftheBoard.jpg
Johnson in 2007
Background information
Birth name General Norman Johnson
Born (1941-05-23)May 23, 1941
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Origin Huntersville, Virginia
Died October 13, 2010(2010-10-13) (aged 69)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Occupation(s) Singer songwriter, record producer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1961–2010
Associated acts Chairmen of the Board, The Showmen
Website http://www.chairmenoftheboard.com/

General Norman Johnson (May 23, 1941 – October 13, 2010) was the frontman of Chairmen of the Board and an American rhythm and blues songwriter and record producer.[1]

Biography[edit]

Johnson made an early start in music when he began singing in his church choir at the age of six. His recording debut came six years later on Atlantic Records, who waxed his group the Humdingers, although the tracks remain unreleased. In 1961, and following a change in name to The Showmen, Johnson and the group issued via Minit Records the single "It Will Stand." The track was a chart hit in both 1961 and 1964. Although The Showmen recorded other offerings for Minit and Swan, including such hits as "39-21-46", they split up in 1968.[2]

Johnson attempted an abortive solo career before joining the then new Invictus label in Detroit, Michigan. Steered by Holland-Dozier-Holland, Johnson recruited Danny Woods (ex-The Showmen), Harrison Kennedy, and Eddie Curtis and created Chairmen of the Board. Their debut single, "Give Me Just a Little More Time", rose to #3 in the US Billboard R&B chart in 1970. Further hits included "(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String" and "Everything's Tuesday."[2]

Johnson commenced a career as songwriter with "Pay to the Piper," becoming a modest success for Chairmen of the Board. Other songs he wrote were successful when recorded by other musicians. These included the Grammy Award winning "Patches" for Clarence Carter (Jerry Reed also recorded a country music cover version). Invictus Records labelmates Honey Cone recorded the Johnson penned tracks "Want Ads", "Stick Up," and "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show." Also Johnson wrote "Bring the Boys Home", for Freda Payne.[2]

Chairmen of the Board's popularity diminished in the middle of the 1970s, although Johnson and Woods remained together re-billed as the Chairmen. Johnson tried a solo career again in 1976, and his debut solo album on Arista Records was a modest success. He teamed up again with Woods in the following decade, making a living on the beach music circuit.[2] In 1993, having lost little of his distinctive vocal style, Johnson released another album, What Goes Around Comes Around, recorded with Woods.

In recognition of the contribution that Johnson has made to American popular music, the Virginia General Assembly designated June 9, 2001 as General Johnson Day in Virginia.[3]

Johnson died on October 13, 2010, in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. His obituary in The New York Times reported that his family attributed his death to complications of lung cancer.[1] Other obituaries did not mention lung cancer but did note that he was recovering from recent knee surgery.[4][5]

Discography[edit]

Chairmen Of The Board (members General Norman Johnson (born 23-May-1943 in Norfolk, Virginia --- former member of The Showmen), Danny Woods (born 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia), Harrison Kennedy (born in Canada) and Eddie Curtis (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Invictus 9074 - Give Me Just A Little More Time / Since The Days Of Pigtails - 1970 Invictus 9078 - You've Got Me Dangling On A String / I'll Come Crawling - 1970 Invictus 9079 - Everything's Tuesday / Patches* - 1970 *also recorded in 1970 by Clarence Carter on Atlantic 2748. Invictus 9081 - Pay To The Piper / Bless You - 1970 Invictus 9086 - Chairmen Of The Board / When Will She Tell Me She Needs Me - 1970 Invictus 9089 - Hanging On To A Memory / Tricked And Trapped - 1970 Invictus 9093 - Savannah Lady / I'm In Love Darling - 1970 Invictus 9099 - Working On A Building Of Love* / Try My Love For Size – 1970 *lead vocals Danny Woods, session: Thelma Hopkins, Joyce Wright (backing female vocals) Invictus 9103 - Men Are Getting Scarce / Bravo, Hooray - 1970 Invictus 9105 - Elmo James / Bittersweet – 1972

General Johnson

Invictus 9106 - All We Need Is Understanding / Savannah Lady – 1972

Chairmen Of The Board (members General Johnson, Danny Woods, Harrison Kennedy and Eddie Custis)

Invictus 9122 - Working On A Building Of Love / Everybody's Got A Song To Sing – 1972

Chairmen Of The Board (members General Johnson, Danny Woods and Harrison Kennedy)

Invictus 9126 - Let Me Down Easy / I Can't Find Myself - 1972 Invictus 1251 - Finders Keepers / Finders Keepers (Instrumental) - 1973 Invictus 1252 - Only Time Will Tell / Only Time Will Tell (Instrumental) - 1973 Invictus 1263 - Life & Death / Live With Me, Love With Me - 1974 Invictus 1268 - Everybody Party All Night / Morning Glory (Instrumental) - 1974 Invictus 1271 - Let's Have Some Fun / Love At First Sight - 1974 Invictus 1276 - Skin I'm In / Love At First Sight – 1975

Chairmen Of The Board Featuring Prince Harold (members General Johnson, Danny Woods, ................)

Invictus 1278 - Someone Just Like You / You've Got The Extra Added Power In Your Love – 1976

General Johnson

Arista 0177 – All In The Family / Ready, Willing And Able – 1976 Arista 0192 – We The People / Keep Keepin’ On – 1976 Arista 0203 – Don’t Walk Away / Temperature Rising (Part 2) – 1976 Arista 0234 – Only Love Can Mend A Broken Heart / Patches – 1977 Arista 0264 – Temperature Rising / Let’s Fool Around – 1977 Arista 0359 – Can’t Nobody Love Me Like You Do / Lies – 1978 Ica 023 - Someone Just Like You / Someone Just Like You – 1978 (Promo Issue) Ica 023 – Come On In And Dance* / Someone Just Like You – 1979 *session: Danny Woods.

Chairmen Of The Board feat. General Norman Johnson (members General Johnson, Danny Woods and Ken Knox)

Surfside 800414 - On The Beach / Pretty Women - Hey Baby - 1980

General Johnson and The Chairmen Of The Board (members General Johnson, Danny Woods and Ken Knox)

Surfside 800902 - Carolina Girl / Down At The Beach Club - 1980 Surfside 810216 - Summer Love / Summer Love - 1981 Surfside 820215 - Beach Fever / Bird In The Hand - 1982 Surfside 830113 - Shag Your Brains Out / Shag Your Brains Out - 1983 Surfside 830117 - I'd Rather Be In Carolina / When Can I See You Again - 1983 Surfside 840229 - Lover Boy / Hi Dee Hi Dee Ho - 1984 Surfside 850401 - Love Is What You Make It / Love Is What You Make It - 1985 Surfside 870709 - Don't Walk Away / Forever Together - 1987 Surfside 880209 - A Piece Of Candy / A Piece Of Candy - 1988 Surfside 890214 - Gone Fishin' / X - Rated Love - 1989 Surfside 0401901 - I Wanna Doop Doop Doop Your Doo Wop She Doo Wop / Let The Good Times Roll – 1990

The Chairmen Of The Board (members General Johnson, Danny Woods, Harrison Kennedy and Eddie Custis)

Ripete 103 - Give Me Just A Little More Time / Everything's Tuesday – 1990

General Johnson and The Chairmen Of The Board (members General Johnson, Danny Woods and Ken Knox)

Surfside 910114 - You Don't Know What Love Is / You Don't Know What Love Is - 1991 Surfside 911119 - Christmas Time Is Here / Christmas Time Is Here - 1991 Surfside 920301 - Boy Toy / Boy Toy - 1992 Surfside 920701 - Alive And Kickin' / Alive And Kickin' – 1992

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Keepnews, Peter (October 15, 2010). "General Johnson, Singer and Writer of Hit R&B Songs, Dies at 69". New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bush, John. "General Johnson". Allmusic. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ Legl.state.va.us
  4. ^ Brown, Steven (October 14, 2010). "Beach music icon General Johnson dies". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ Baker, April (October 15, 2010). "Beach music icon General Johnson dies". The News and Observer. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 

External links[edit]