Johnny Jenkins

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Johnny Jenkins
Born(1939-03-05)March 5, 1939
Bibb County, Georgia, U.S.
DiedJune 26, 2006(2006-06-26) (aged 67)
Bibb County, Georgia, U.S.
Years active1962–1970

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, 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 Guilded Splinters",[2] has been sampled by numerous musicians, including Beck (Loser), and Oasis (Go Let It Out).[6] Several tracks on Ton-Ton Macoute! featured Duane Allman on guitar and dobro.[7]

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.[8]


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.[9]


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

With Otis Redding


  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. ^ "Samples of I Walk on Gilded Splinters by Johnny Jenkins on WhoSampled". Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  7. ^ "Ton-Ton Macoute! - Johnny Jenkins | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  8. ^ "Johnny Jenkins | Discography". AllMusic. 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  9. ^ "Johnny Jenkins induction into the Georgia Music Hall Of Fame 10/13/12". YouTube. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2014-07-14.[dead YouTube link]

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