Friday, October 15, 2010

Grim Reaper strikes down the General

Dave C has alerted me to the death of General Norman Johnson at the age of 67. The General started his career in North Carolina and was best known as the distinctive lead voice of the Chairmen of the Board, who made a string of excellent beach music/shag records for Holland/Dozier/Holland's Invictus label in the late 60s and early 70s. These included, memorably, Give Me Just a Little More Time, You've Got Me Dangling on a String, Everything's Tuesday, Pay to the Piper and Elmo James.
I first came across him several years earlier however when he sang lead on the great rock and roll anthem It Will Stand by The Showmen, which was released on the New Orleans-based Minit label . It was a fantastic record that got nowhere in the UK but reached number one in my personal top ten in January 1962. Follow ups such as The Wrong Girl and Swish Fish were almost as good but failed to hit. When the Chairmen broke up General made solo records under the names of General Johnson (Generally Speaking) and Norman Johnson and was also a successful songwriter. But it is for his amazing voice that he will be best remembered. Here is It Will Stand on Youtube
Dave also alerted me to the death of gospel singer Albertina Walker at the age of 81. She began her career as a member of The Caravans in the 1950s and was known as the Queen of Gospel Music. Another sad loss.


At 3:31 am , Blogger Private Beach said...

I just checked out Johnson's Wikipedia entry and found that his songwriting credits included Clarence Carter's "Patches", Honey Cone's "Want Ads" and Freda Payne's "Bring the Boys Home". Successful indeed.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home