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Just listening to 94.9 The Surf internet radio from Carolina and stumbled into a General Johnson tribute. He died aged 67 last night. A stellar talent on the soul scene from It Will Stand to Bless Your Heart and all points in between. Rest in Peace.

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Sad new indeed, spoke to last year about coming over to do a show, as someone was interested in having him over for a weekender. He was in high spirits at the time and really up for coming over. He had been in conversation with McKinley Jackson in Detroit about cutting some new tracks as well, all in all sad news.

Dave

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Sad News Indeed ! R.I.P

I interviewed General and released his 'Bless Your Heart' single a few years ago, this after working with him some 30 years before.

A unique vocal. I will edit up a tribute and post up later. For now......the brief history.

Johnson made an early start in the music when he began singing in his church choir at the age of six. His recording debut came six years later on Atlantic Records, who waxed his group the Humdingers, although the tracks remain unreleased. In 1961, and following a change in name to The Showmen, Johnson and the group issued via Minit Records the single "It Will Stand." The track was a chart hit in both 1961 and 1964. Although The Showmen recorded other offerings for Minit and Swan, including such hits as "39-21-40 Shape", they split up in 1968.[1]

Johnson attempted an abortive solo career before joining the then new Invictus label in Detroit, Michigan. Steered by Holland-Dozier-Holland, Johnson recruited Danny Woods (ex-The Showmen), Harrison Kennedy, and Eddie Custis and created Chairmen of the Board. Their debut single, "Give Me Just a Little More Time", rose to #3 in the US Billboard R&B chart in 1969. Further hits included "(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String" and "Everything's Tuesday."[1]

Johnson commenced a career as songwriter with "Pay to the Piper," becoming a modest success for Chairmen of the Board. Other songs he penned were successful when recorded by other musicians. These included the Grammy Award winning "Patches" for Clarence Carter (Jerry Reed also recorded a country music cover version). Invictus Records labelmates Honey Cone recorded the Johnson penned tracks "Want Ads", "Stick Up," and "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show." Also Johnson wrote "Bring the Boys Home", for Freda Payne.[1]

Chairmen of the Board's popularity diminshed in the middle of the 1970s, although Johnson and Woods remained together re-billed as the Chairmen. Johnson tried a solo career again in 1979, and his debut solo album on Arista Records was a modest success. He teamed up again with Woods in the following decade, making a living on the beach music circuit.[1] In 1993, having lost little of his distinctive vocal style, Johnson released another album, What Goes Around Comes Around, recorded with Woods.

In recognition of the contribution that Johnson has made to American popular music, the Virginia General Assembly designated June 9, 2001 as General Johnson Day in Virginia.

Edited by The Golden 101

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Some singers you think will be here forever....Norman Johnson was, for me, one of THE voices of the early 70's. Probably never really accepted as a 'legend'...but a truly unique voice. Still very active on the Beach scene in the U.S.

Solomon Burke I expected...due to his size and health,...but this has hit me for six!

Such a loss.....

Edited by Soul-Brother

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cant believe this i was playing his music only today, ive always loved him, i saw chairmen of the board when i was 15/16 one of the happiest days of my life, this makes me really sad, really bad news.

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Im writing this with tears in my eyes total shocked one of my all time favs has gone Norman Johnson voice was just pure soul from the days of the showman to chairman of the board just awesome the General will be sadly missed

RIP Norman

mick & teresa

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Just listening to 94.9 The Surf internet radio from Carolina and stumbled into a General Johnson tribute. He died aged 67 last night.

A stellar talent on the soul scene from It Will Stand to Bless Your Heart and all points in between. Rest in Peace.

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oh no...this is so sad. First Solomon Burke and now General Johnson..what a sad week

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I don't usually put anything up on such a sad thread as this, but in this instance i feel i must. I can remember it well, Denton Youth club, 1970's and The Chairman of the board were great fav's, If i an honest and admit it they were the probably the band that made me take my first steps into my life long love of our music. God bless you Norman and rest in peace General...Thanks....

John

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Guest

More Sad News

R.I.P. General Norman Johnson

RIP .

Thank you for the music .

Malc

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Guest topcatnumpty1

That band up there in the All Nighter in the sky continues to grow!

R.I.P.General --thanks for the music you left us.

T.C

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This one has really got me ......

Chairman of the Board were a huge part of my formative years.

The Showmen, I learned about retrospectively & really added to the excitement of discovering a whole

world of soul music I had no idea existed in the early 70s.

Bless Your Heart (General) (Chairman) Norman Johnson. May 23, 1943 - October 13, 2010

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How sad ...and so young too. One of the truly distinctive voices on the soul scene and an incredible talent behind the board. His early work at Swan in Philly still ranks as high as any. RIP.

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Once again it's time to say goodbye to one of our heroes. And this is how I do it...

The mid 70s threw up some great soul groups that, only years later, would most of us realise were actually already seasoned professionals. Mr Johnson was at the pinnacle of these groups. The Invictus sides I'm sure, played a substantial part in any of that era's soulfan's education. Commercial success combined with immense soul credibility is not commonplace on our scene but the General achieved both with a mix of songwriting talent, a fantastic distinctive voice and a knack of 'connecting' with his listeners. From the early Philly based soul outings, through the H-D-H Detroit connection and onto the Beach scene's retro scene, he entertained both sets of fans in equal measure and for that he should feel immensley proud.

Taken too soon? For sure. But the legacy he leaves behind many would trade with him, I'm sure. It's that legacy that I'll focus on this evening as I dig a few of his 45s out with a few scoops. So.....sleep well Mr Johnson, hopefully you've now reached that "Better Place". We thank you for your timeless music and congratulate you on a job extremely Well Done Sir.

Regards,

Dave

Edited by Dave Moore

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Here we are again saying a fond farewell to one of our heroes.

I think the words 'unique voice' are sometimes over-used (particularly in the present day where to my ears pretty much all chartbound MOBO sounds the same) but that's not the case when speaking about 'The General'.

The 'smokiness' and 'soulfulness' that Norman Johnson put into his vocal recordings is so joyful I become emotional every time I hear them none more so than the early sides like 'It Will Stand'.

I saw Chairmen Of The Board in the mid 70's when their star was on the wane but they still sounded great when they sung Elmore James, You've Got Me Dangling On A String and the other Invictus sides - I was transported back to my early teenage years (before I was 'into' the scene)!

Condolences to his family & freinds.

Mick

Edited by Mick Howard

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What very sad news.

A fabulous singer, one of my all-time favourite voices.

When I was a young lad just taking an interest in Soul music, the Chairmen of the Board singles on Invictus were some of the first records I bought.

I still love those records and that voice today.

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Respect.

One of the most distinctive and soulful voices in Northern Soul History. R.I.P. Norman hopefully you are in a "Better Place".

I will be spinning The Showmen this weekend.

Ian G

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Dave

As a kid growing up in soul-starved London in the late 60s and very early 70s Invictus & Hot Wax kept us going, his voice, so unique, seem to remember the H-D-H gang saying that him & Levi Stubbs were the greatest singers they'd ever worked with. Oh well another one gone.

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I've been a BIG fan of his recordings since I first got into this thing of ours. I particularly love his (their) Swan recordings and still have a few WDs filed away on the 'keepers' shelves!

Oddly enough just last night I was scanning a load of Japanese labels for my never ending book project, and pulled a couple of his Invictus discs out...I'd forgotten I had a rather nice WD of 'GMJALMT'...left it out to spin when I had time this weekend!

I also have fond memories of receiving a cassette (those were the days!) of Minit label out takes way back when I was with Charly Records. Fortunately almost the entire recording session for, 'The Wrong Girl' remained and to hear them constructing it and trying out new bits and indeed speeds (the uptempo version thumps along!) was spine tingling to say the least, as the quality of the sound reproduction and their crisp vocals was faultless!

Yep, a vocal that stood out from the rest and will also stand the test of time.

RIP, sir.

Edited by Flynny

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Very sad. Listen to his "Wrong Girl" from, I think, 1964. Fabulous track :thumbsup:

Love the record my all time fave General track awesome vocals.Should be played tonight at Prestatnyn R.I.P.The General........:thumbsup:

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Just listening to 94.9 The Surf internet radio from Carolina and stumbled into a General Johnson tribute. He died aged 67 last night.

A stellar talent on the soul scene from It Will Stand to Bless Your Heart and all points in between. Rest in Peace.

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Unbelievable............whats really sad is that no one thought it viable to bring over Chairmen Of The Board as a live act to any of the larger events over here......Id love to have seen them........Its not much fun being a Soul Fan at the moment what with Solomon Burke as well the other day....

RIP General.

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Unbelievable............whats really sad is that no one thought it viable to bring over Chairmen Of The Board as a live act to any of the larger events over here......Id love to have seen them........Its not much fun being a Soul Fan at the moment what with Solomon Burke as well the other day....

RIP General.

I was in talks a couple of months ago to bring a across a whole Invictus/Hot Wax package with Freda Payne/C.O.T.B/Honey Cone and the Holland brothers but, as always, money and logistics were proving problematic. A major shame.

Ian D :thumbsup:

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I was in talks a couple of months ago to bring a across a whole Invictus/Hot Wax package with Freda Payne/C.O.T.B/Honey Cone and the Holland brothers but, as always, money and logistics were proving problematic. A major shame.

Ian D :thumbsup:

Thats a real shame it didnt work out Ian........:thumbsup:

best, Ivor

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