Johnny Fuller (musician)

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For the former American footballer of this name, see Johnny Fuller.
Johnny Fuller
Born (1929-04-20)April 20, 1929
Edwards, Mississippi, United States
Died May 20, 1985(1985-05-20) (aged 56)
Oakland, California, United States
Genres West Coast blues, electric blues, rhythm and blues, gospel, rock and roll[1]
Occupations Singer, guitarist
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1950s–1970s
Labels Various

Johnny Fuller (April 20, 1929 – May 20, 1985)[2] was an American West Coast and electric blues singer and guitarist.[1] Fuller showed musical diversity, performing in several musical genres including rhythm and blues, gospel and rock and roll. His distinctive singing and guitar playing appeared on a number of 1950s San Francisco Bay Area recordings, although he ceased performing regularly by the late 1970s.[1] He worked as an auto mechanic from 1968 to 1983. His best known recording, "Haunted House", was later covered with some success by Jumpin' Gene Simmons. His other better known tracks were "Crying Won't Make Me Stay", "All Night Long", "You Got Me Whistling" and "Johnny Ace's Last Letter."[1][2]

He is not to be confused with, nor was related to, the American blues musician, Jesse Fuller.

Biography[edit]

Fuller was born in Edwards, Mississippi, United States.[2] He relocated with his family in 1945 to Vallejo, California.[3][4]

His musical styling often masked his upbringing in the Deep South, but he spent the majority of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area. As such, he is usually classified as a West Coast bluesman, although he did not stick with one particular genre.[1] Fuller recorded for a number of independent record labels, sometimes those associated with Bob Geddins. These included Heritage, Hollywood, Flair, Specialty, Aladdin, Imperial and Checker Records. His debut recording was made in 1948 on the obscure Jaxyson record label, with a couple of gospel based songs. In 1954, he began a regular recording career which lasted until 1962.[4] Fuller recorded twenty sides in 1954 alone for Geddins.[3]

Fuller had local hits with his singles "All Night Long" and the original version of "Haunted House," the latter of which was written and produced by Geddins. Fuller's ability to switch styles, saw him appear in late 1950s rock and roll package tours, performing on the same bill as Paul Anka and Frankie Avalon.[1] However, this same factor lost his black audience, which left him neglected in the 1960s blues revival.[3]

In 1974, Fuller issued his debut album, Fuller's Blues which was well received,[3][5] but saw little commercial success. Fuller played at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1973 and 1977.

He latterly worked as a mechanic in a local garage until his death from lung cancer in Oakland, California, in May 1985, at the age of 56.[1]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Record label
1974 Fuller's Blues Bluesmaker Records
1984 Fools Paradise (compilation) Diving Duck

[1][6]

Singles[edit]

See the 'External links' section for a full listing.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Cub Koda. "Johnny Fuller". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  2. ^ a b c Doc Rock. "The 1980s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d Herzhaft et al, Gérard (1997). Encyclopedia of the Blues (1st ed.). Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press. p. 71. ISBN 1-55728-452-0. 
  4. ^ a b "Johnny Fuller | Big Road Blues". Sundayblues.org. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  5. ^ Owens, Thom. "Fuller's Blues - Johnny Fuller : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  6. ^ "Johnny Fuller - Fullers Blues (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 1973-06-22. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 

External links[edit]