Jump to content

Jellybean Johnson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jellybean Johnson
Background information
Birth nameGarry George Johnson
Born (1956-11-19) November 19, 1956 (age 67)
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
  • Drums
  • guitar
Years active1981–present

Garry George "Jellybean" Johnson (born November 19, 1956) is an American drummer, guitarist, songwriter, record producer and musician based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1]

Early life, family and education[edit]

As a youth, Johnson relocated from Chicago to Minneapolis.[2] He received drum lessons at age 13 and two years later began teaching himself guitar.[2] He attended Marshall-University High School, where he played on its basketball team, then attended the University of Minnesota.[2]


As the drummer for the Time,[3] Johnson worked alongside famed producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and recorded with and/or produced many notable artists including Alexander O'Neal, Cherrelle, New Edition and Janet Jackson, with whom he had the 1990 #1 single, "Black Cat".

After the breakup of the Time, Johnson worked as a producer, musician as well as songwriter and became a long-time associate of Flyte Tyme productions. His first assignment was Alexander O'Neal's #11 R&B hit "Innocent" (produced by fellow Time bandmates Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis). On this track, he was not only the drummer, but delivered the guitar solos for the second half of the ten-minute long song. From this recording forward, Johnson became an in-demand session guitarist, drummer and percussionist. He also produced a number of hits for the aforementioned as well as New Edition, and helmed Mint Condition's 1991 debut album Meant to Be Mint.

Johnson re-joined the Time for the Prince feature film Graffiti Bridge and its accompanying Time album, Pandemonium. Shortly after, Johnson returned to touring with Morris Day, while continuing to produce emerging artists and work as a session player.

In 2008, he collaborated with Rihanna at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards,[4] then began work on his solo debut. Following the unexpected death of Prince in 2016, Johnson halted production. He returned to the Grammy Stage for both the 2017 tribute and the 2020 Salute To Prince, and finally released the album Get Experienced in 2021.[2]

In 2022, Johnson founded the Minneapolis Sound Museum.[5] That same year, he and fellow members of The Time were awarded a Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Johnson is 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) and played competitive basketball as a teenager. [2]

He has seven children.[2]

Hits that Johnson produced and co-produced[edit]


  1. ^ "Reunion time". Boston Globe. June 27, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2010. The Time, the seven-man Minneapolis funk band featured in the Prince movie "Purple Rain," are reuniting, 18 years after their last studio album. The band members are (from left) Jimmy Jam, Jesse Johnson, Jerome Benton, Morris Day, Terry Lewis, Monte Noir, and Jellybean Johnson
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bream, John (March 19, 2021). "At 64, Minnesota music hero Jellybean Johnson makes his solo guitar debut". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  3. ^ Gundersen, Edna (June 22, 2008). "It's time again for The Time". USA Today. Retrieved December 22, 2010. Suited up for a comeback: Jimmy Jam (front left), Jellybean Johnson and Morris Day
  4. ^ "Singers Morris Day of the Time and Rihanna perform onstage during the". gettyimages.com. February 11, 2008.
  5. ^ "Minneapolis Sound Museum honors local music legends". fox9.com. June 7, 2023.
  6. ^ Grein, Paul (November 7, 2022). "Morris Day & the Time to Receive Legend Award at 2022 Soul Train Awards". Billboard. Retrieved June 12, 2024.

External links[edit]