Johnny Jenkins

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For the American racecar driver, see Johnny Jenkins (racing driver).
Johnny Jenkins
Born March 5, 1939
Bibb County, Georgia, U.S.
Died June 26, 2006
Bibb County, Georgia, U.S.
Genres Blues
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1962–1970
Notable instruments

Johnny Edward Jenkins (March 5, 1939 – June 26, 2006)[1][2] was an American left-handed blues guitarist, who helped launch the career of Otis Redding.[2] His flamboyant style of guitar playing also influenced Jimi Hendrix.[3]


In the 1960s Jenkins was the leader of the Pinetoppers, who employed a young Otis Redding as singer.[3] As Jenkins did not have a driver's license, the young Redding also served as his personal driver.[2] During a recording session in 1962 organized by the band's manager, Phil Walden, Jenkins left forty minutes of studio time unused. Redding used this time to record a ballad, "These Arms of Mine", on which Jenkins played guitar.[3] Scott Freeman, in his biography of Redding, Otis!: The Otis Redding Story, gives several accounts of that chaotic day at Stax Records.[4] In 1964, Jenkins released an instrumental single, "Spunky" (Volt V-122).[5]

With Phil Walden concentrating on Redding's flourishing career, Jenkins was sidelined, and it was not until after Redding's death in 1967 that Walden again concentrated on Jenkins's career.[2] In 1970, Jenkins released the album Ton-Ton Macoute!.[3] The opening track, a cover of Dr. John's "I Walk on Gilded Splinters",[2] has been sampled by numerous musicians, including Beck and Oasis. Several tracks on Ton-Ton Macoute! featured Duane Allman on guitar and dobro.[6]

With Walden again becoming involved in other projects, Jenkins became disillusioned with the music industry and did nothing of note until 1996. By then Walden had persuaded him to make a comeback, and he released the album Blessed Blues, recorded with Chuck Leavell.[3] Two further albums followed: Handle with Care and All in Good Time.[7]

Jenkins died from a stroke in June 2006 in the same town where he was born: Macon, Georgia. He was 67.[1][3]

Jenkins was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2012.[8]


  • Ton-Ton Macoute! (1970)
  • Blessed Blues (1996)
  • Handle With Care (2001)
  • All in Good Time (2005)


  1. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2006 January To June". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Guitarist Johnny Jenkins; Aided Otis Redding". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Richard Skelly (2006-06-26). "Johnny Jenkins | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  4. ^ "Otis!: The Otis Redding Story: Scott Freeman: Books". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  5. ^ "Johnny Jenkins - Spunky / Bashful Guitar (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  6. ^ "Ton-Ton Macoute! - Johnny Jenkins | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  7. ^ "Johnny Jenkins | Discography". AllMusic. 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  8. ^ "Johnny Jenkins induction into the Georgia Music Hall Of Fame 10/13/12". YouTube. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 

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