Johnny Griffith (musician)

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Johnny Griffith
Johnny Griffith musician.jpg
Background information
Birth name John Ellis Griffith Jr.
Born (1936-07-10)July 10, 1936
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died November 10, 2002(2002-11-10) (aged 66)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Occupation(s) Session musician
Instruments Keyboards
Labels Motown
Associated acts The Funk Brothers

John Ellis "Johnny" Griffith Jr. (July 10, 1936 – November 10, 2002) was an African-American musician.


Born in Detroit, Griffith played piano and keyboards for Motown Records' in-house Funk Brothers studio band. Among the hundreds of Motown recordings Griffith played on are "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" by Four Tops, "Stop! In the Name of Love" by The Supremes, "Shotgun" by Junior Walker & the All Stars and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" by The Temptations.

Griffith played the Steinway grand piano, the Hammond B-3 organ, the Wurlitzer electric piano, the Fender Rhodes, and the celeste and harpsichord. His musical influences included Bud Powell, Glenn Gould, and Oscar Peterson.

Griffith died of a heart attack in a Detroit hospital on November 10, 2002. He was 66 years old.[1]


  1. ^ McLellan, Dennis (November 12, 2002). "Johnny Griffith, 66; Played Keyboard for Motown Greats". Los Angeles Times.

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