Johnnie Allan, real name John Allen Guillot, is a pioneer of the swamp pop musical genre.
Born March 10, 1938, in Rayne, Louisiana, Allan, a Cajun, grew up in a musical family, and at age six obtained his first guitar. By age thirteen he was playing with Walter Mouton and the Scott Playboys, a traditional Cajun music band. About two years later he switched to Lawrence Walker and the Wandering Aces, another traditional Cajun band.
In 1956 he saw Elvis Presley perform live on the Louisiana Hayride music program, and shortly afterwards Allan began to play rock and roll music. In 1958 he left Walker to form the Krazy Kats, and in doing so helped to pioneer what became known as swamp pop music.
He returned to the Jin label in the early 1970s and went on to record many notable swamp pop tunes, including his versions of Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" and Merle Haggard's "Somewhere on Skid Row."
A perennial favorite of swamp pop fans globally, Allan has performed in Europe well over a dozen times. He is author of two music-related books, Memories: A Pictorial History of South Louisiana Music (1988) and Born to Be a Loser (1992, with Bernice Larson Webb), a biography of swamp pop musician Jimmy Donley.
- John Broven, South to Louisiana: Music of the Cajun Bayous (Gretna, La.: Pelican Press, 1983).
- Shane K. Bernard, Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996).