Lil Johnson (blues singer)

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Lil Johnson (fl. 1920s-1930s, dates and places of birth and death unknown) was an African-American singer who recorded dirty blues and hokum songs in the 1920s and 1930s.

Career[edit]

"Get 'Em From the Peanut Man (Hot Nuts)", performed by Johnson in March 1936.

Her origins and early life are not known. She first recorded in Chicago in 1929, accompanied by the pianists Montana Taylor and Charles Avery on five songs, including "Rock That Thing". She did not return to the recording studio until 1935, when her more risqué songs included "Get 'Em from the Peanut Man (Hot Nuts)", "Anybody Want to Buy My Cabbage?",[1][2] and "Press My Button (Ring My Bell)" ("Come on baby, let's have some fun / Just put your hot dog in my bun").[3] She also recorded a version of "Keep A-Knockin'",[4] which later became a hit for Little Richard.

From her second session onwards, she formed a partnership with the ragtime-influenced pianist Black Bob, who provided ebullient support for her increasingly suggestive lyrics. In 1936 and 1937, she recorded over 40 songs, mostly for Vocalion Records, some featuring Big Bill Broonzy on guitar and Lee Collins on trumpet.[5] Her other songs included "Was I?", "My Stove's in Good Condition", "Take Your Hand Off It" and "Buck Naked Blues".[6][7][8][9]

She sang in a vigorous and sometimes abrasive manner.[5] All her songs have been anthologized on later blues collections. There is no record of what became of Johnson after her recording career ended in 1937.

Recordings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lil Johnson Discography". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  2. ^ Chadbourne, Eugene. "Lil Johnson | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  3. ^ "Press My Button (Ring My Bell) – Lil Johnson lyrics". LyricsOfSong.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  4. ^ "Harry's Blues Lyrics Online, Lil Johnson Lyrics, page 2". Blueslyrics.tripod.com. Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  5. ^ a b c Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 125–126. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  6. ^ "Lil Johnson – "Hottest Gal In Town" (1936–1937)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  7. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 1 (1929–1936) – Lil Johnson | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  8. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 3 (1937) – Lil Johnson | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  9. ^ Yanow, Scott (1995-02-15). "Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 2 (1936–1937) – Lil Johnson | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 

External links[edit]