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|Birth name||John Dee Abohosh|
|Also known as||
Johnny Jordan |
|Born||February 6, 1936|
|Origin||Dallas, Texas, United States|
|Died||February 23, 2007(aged 71)|
|Genres||Pop, rockabilly, surf rock|
|Associated acts||'Truth of Truths' Rock Opera, 1971|
Born in Dallas, Texas, Abohosh moved to Ventura, California in his teens, where he was adopted by his stepfather and took the name John D. Faircloth. He discovered a singing voice at a young age and recorded a few minor hits with several small record labels under the stage names Johnny Jordan, Dick Bush (which sole single "Hollywood Party" was his first for Era), and Johnny Faire, the latter gaining some sales with "Bertha Lou" in early 1959, while a cover version by Clint Miller charted nationally.
In 1958, on Vine Street north of Hollywood Blvd, across the street from the Capitol Records building and above the Ontra Cafeteria, was the offices of Hal Zeiger - World Wide Attractions, which produced The BorschtCapades starring Mickey Katz (father of Joel Grey) and several Southern California rock and roll concert venues, including Saturday Night at The El Monte Legion Stadium. Also in the complex was the Johnny Otis (Willie & The Hand Jive) recording studio, the offices of Eldo Records and the office of promoter Red "The Old Red Cat" Gilson. A late morning, mid-week meeting was held by Gilson and a woman, Linda Stewart, who identified herself as representing a remarkable singer and showman named Donnie Brooks. Gilson was persuaded to "give the kid a shot" at the next El Monte Legion Stadium show. That Saturday, Brooks was introduced and sang two numbers including Ray Charles hit "What'd I Say." His performance was ultra-high energy rarely seen by the Legion audience that stood filling the arena from the back wall to the edge of the five foot high stage. It was exciting but because he didn't have a record being played on the radio, that may have been his only Legion appearance that year. Encouraged by friends Dorsey and Johnny Burnette, he persevered in the music business and in late 1959, he made his first recording using the name Donnie Brooks. Called "Li'l Sweetheart," it received a lukewarm reception, but his March 1960 hit single, "Mission Bell" on Era Records demonstrated a quality voice in an upbeat song that peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His follow-up, "Doll House"/"Round Robin" (a double-sided hit single with a color picture sleeve on Era Records) peaked at No. 31 in December 1960. According to a 2006 concert at Sherman Indian High School, Riverside, California posted on youtube.com, Brooks revealed that he was the voice of the opening theme to the cartoon series George of the Jungle. He also sang the theme to the cartoon series Super Chicken.
Although he continued to record through the 1970s, he never again achieved the same level of success. In 1971, Brooks played the role of Christ in the rock opera "Truth of Truths" for Oak Records. The record was produced by Ray Ruff, who previously worked for ABC-Paramount, Happy Tiger and Dot. Brooks toured with other performers from the early rock and roll era in oldies revival shows. Donnie had 5 children, Tony, Steve, Cathy, Saji, and Shad. All are still living.
- Long, Donald John (July 31, 2003). "Interview with Ray Ruff & Donnie Brooks". One-Way.org. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- Whitburn, Joel (1998). Billboard Top 10 Charts, 1958-1997. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 46. ISBN 0-89820-126-8.