Sammy Johns

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Sammy Johns
Birth name Sammy Reginald Johns
Born (1946-02-07)February 7, 1946
Charlotte, North Carolina
Died January 4, 2013(2013-01-04) (aged 66)
Gastonia, North Carolina
Genres Folk rock, soft rock
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1970–2013
Labels General Recording Corporation, Warner-Curb, New World, Elektra

Sammy Johns (February 7, 1946 – January 4, 2013) was an American country singer-songwriter, best known for his million-selling 1975 hit single, "Chevy Van".[1]

Career[edit]

Sammy Reginald Johns was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. Johns' father gave him a guitar when he was nine, and he founded his first band (the Devilles) in his teenage years.[2] The group performed locally and made a few records for Dixie Records.[2] Johns moved to Atlanta, where he signed with General Recording in 1973. His first solo recording was "Early Morning Love" (1973).[2]

"Chevy Van" (1975) reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart[1] and remained in the chart for 17 weeks. It was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. on 4 May 1975.[1] The song and an album (also titled "Chevy Van") led to a contract with Warner Curb Records to produce a soundtrack for the 1977 film The Van. Johns switched to the Elektra label, where he issued singles such as "Common Man" and "Love Me off the Road".[2] John Conlee's cover version of "Common Man" reached number 1. Conlee made the song his theme song.[2] Johns' songs have also been covered by Waylon Jennings, Sammy Kershaw, and Conway Twitty. After Jennings sang Johns' song "America" at a celebration of the restoration of the Statue of Liberty in 1985, the single was nominated for country song of the year.[2]

Death[edit]

Johns died on January 4, 2013, at Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, North Carolina, at the age of 66.[3]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album US Label
1973 Sammy Johns 148 General Recording
1994 Golden Classics Collectables
2000 Honky Tonk Moon Southern Tracks

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions RIAA Album
US
[4]
US Country
1974 "Chevy Van" 5 Gold Sammy Johns
"Early Morning Love" 68 79
1975 "Rag Doll" 52
1980 "Falling for You" 103 N/A
1981 "Common Man" 50
1988 "Chevy Van" (re-release) 80

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 114. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Biography by Linda Seida". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 8 December 2008. 
  3. ^ Lyttle, Steve (2013-01-04). "Writer of ‘Chevy Van’ dies at 66". CharlotteObserver.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 462. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 

External links[edit]