April 14, 2005

A life well played.

Johnnie Johnson was shy, and Chuck Berry took the lead, adapting Johnson's piano-playing style to the guitar, according to the brilliant documentary "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll." He was thus one of the absolutely fundamental creators of rock and roll. Though the character in the song "Johnny B. Goode" played the guitar, the song was dedicated to the piano player Johnnie Johnson. Johnnie Johnson, dead at 80.

1 comment:

Larry K said...


Thanks for the post about Johnnie Johnson, the inspiration for Johnny B. Goode, which I would have otherwise missed. He was the last of a series of great St. Louis-based piano players, like Roosevelt Sykes and Speckled Red, who helped bridge the gap from jazz and blues to rock and roll. These influence are not nearly as well known as they should be, unlike the Delta to Chicago guitarists like Muddy Waters.