|Birth name||Sammy Reginald Johns|
February 7, 1946|
Charlotte, North Carolina
|Died||January 4, 2013
Gastonia, North Carolina
|Labels||General Recording Corporation, Warner-Curb, New World, Elektra|
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. The group performed locally and and made a few records for Dixie Records. Johns moved to Atlanta, where he signed with General Recording in 1973. His first solo recording was "Early Morning Love" (1973).
"Chevy Van" (1975) reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and remained in the chart for 17 weeks. It was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. on 4 May 1975. 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". John Conlee's cover version of "Common Man" reached #1 on the charts and was certified gold. Conlee made the song his theme song. 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 certified gold and was nominated for country song of the year.
Johns died on January 4, 2013, at Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, North Carolina, at the age of 66.
|1973||Sammy Johns||148||General Recording|
|2000||Honky Tonk Moon||—||Southern Tracks|
|1974||"Chevy Van"||5||—||Gold||Sammy Johns|
|"Early Morning Love"||68||79||—|
|1980||"Falling for You"||103||—||—||singles only|
|1988||"Chevy Van" (re-release)||—||80||—|
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 114. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "Biography by Linda Seida". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
- Lyttle, Steve (2013-01-04). "Writer of Chevy Van dies at 66". CharlotteObserver.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 462. ISBN 0-89820-188-8.