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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Teddy Johnson born 4 September 1919

Teddy Johnson (born September 4, 1919*) is a popular British singer in the 50’s & 60’s, also part of the husband and wife duo of Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson.

Edward Victor Johnson was born in 1919, in South East London and by the age of 14 was an amateur drummer and singer with his own band “Teddy Johnson & His Rhythm Kings.” On leaving school he held various office jobs before becoming a drummer on
the P&O ship SS Corfu. After fourteen weeks he managed to get work with the National Entertainment Association who employed musicians on the big liners.

Teddy made his first broadcast in 1939 for Radio Ceylon when he sang “Music Maestro PleaseHis musical career came to a standstill with the Second World War. He was in the merchant Navy, finishing up on the Queen Mary as a butcher until 1944. 

After the war he worked as a drummer at the Streatham Locarno, also with the bands of Phil Green and Roland Peachey. He joined Radio Luxembourg on 28 May 1948 where he presented the ‘Top Twenty’ show on Sundays. Having to fill in most of the airtime alone, Johnson adopted various personalities for different broadcasts, such as E. Victor Johnson or Edward V Johnson. Johnson and Geoffrey Everitt ran the English service by themselves until 1950. Johnson left Radio Luxembourg in May 1950 to resume his singing career.

He made his first record in 1950 “Beloved Be Faithful” which proved a success and Teddy started touring in variety. He first met Pearl Carr in 1951 on the Light Programme Show “Black Magic” and by 1955 were wed. Together they became a husband-and-wife team of entertainers,  becoming regulars on a host of TV, radio, and variety shows such as The Winifred Atwell Show as well as Big Night Out and Blackpool Night Out.

Eurovision was the peak of their commercial career, with "Sing Little Birdie" also climbing to number 12 on the U.K. chart. The duo's attempts to represent their country at the 1960 event, however, foundered in the qualifying section, where their "Pickin' Petals" was beaten out by Teddy's own brother, Bryan Johnson, whose "Looking High High High" finished second at the main event. Carr & Johnson scored a second U.K. hit in 1961 with "How Wonderful to Know."

Although Teddy Johnson was best-known for his Eurovision hit with his wife Pearl Carr, he was a prolific and popular recording artist during the ‘50s, making 30 singles for EMI. During the late 50's they both recorded for the Pye label as well. 


As an actor Teddy appeared in the films Music Shop (1958), The Eurovision Song Contest (1959) and The Unforgettable Ernie Wise (2011). later on BBC Radio 2, and had appeared in television shows such as the BBC's children's Crackerjack.

In 1986, Teddy & Pearl were the subject of an edition of This Is Your Life.  In 1987, they were stars of a revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies musical and remained a popular act on the variety circuit into the 1980s.

Teddy & Pearl were regarded in the profession as a vocal speciality and as such were in constant demand throughout their long careers and can be justly proud of their contribution they have madeboth separately and together to British show business and the popular musical industry. (Below is a recent photo of Teddy & Pearl with Bobby Crush).


They are now enjoying a well-earned retirement in Brinsworth House, a care home for retired performers)!. (Edited mainly from “Mr. & Mrs. Music by Geoff Brown”) (* other sources give 1920 wrongly as Teddy’s birth year) 
Here's a clip of Peal Carr & Teddy Johnson sing "How Wonderful To Know" and "Bangers & Mash". From 1961

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For The Magic Of Teddy Johnson & Pearl Carr go here:

1 How Lucky You Are
2 Be Mine
3 My Dearest Dear
4 Forbidden Love
5 Take Me In Your Arms And Hold Me
6 To Know That You Love Me
7 Sing Little Birdie
8 The Young In Heart
9 When The Tide Turns
10 If I Loved You (Carousel)
11 If Only I Could Live My Life Again
12 Ghost Of A Rose
13 Pickin' Petals
14 I Can Give You The Starlight
15 How Wonderful To Know
16 Love's Roundabout
17 The Five Pennies
18 Petite Fleur (Little Flower)
19 My Hearts Desire
20 A Shoulder To Weep On
21 No One Could Love You (More Than I Do)
22 Tell Me Again And Again
23 Bridge Of Sighs
24 For Those Who Are Young
25 The Open Arms Of Love