Monday, 20 April 2015

Johnny Fuller born 20 April 1929

Johnny Fuller (April 20, 1929 – May 20, 1985) was an American West Coast and electric blues singer and guitarist.  Fuller showed musical diversity, performing in several musical genres including rhythm and blues, gospel and rock and roll. His distinctive singing and guitar playing appeared on a number of 1950s San Francisco Bay Area recordings. 

Johnny Fuller was born in Edwards, Mississippi, but moved to Vallejo, California with his parents as a young child. As a child, he taught himself to play guitar and by his teenage years, he formed a gospel group known as the "Gold West Gospel Singers." By the early 1950's, he began recording for the Heritage Record label in Oakland, California. During this time, he taught himself to play the piano and the organ.  

Fuller recorded for a number of independent record labels, sometimes those associated with Bob Geddins. These included Hollywood, Flair, Specialty, Aladdin, Imperial and Checker Records. His debut recording was made in 1948 on the obscure Jaxyson record label, with a couple of gospel based songs. In 1954, he began a regular recording career which lasted until 1962. Fuller recorded twenty sides in 1954 alone for Geddins. 
Fuller had local hits with his singles "All Night Long" and the original version of "Haunted House," the latter of which was written and produced by Geddins. Fuller's ability to switch styles, saw him appear in late 1950s rock and roll package tours, performing on the same bill as Paul Anka and Frankie Avalon. While touring with these acts, he found time to record for the Aladdin and Rhythm Record labels. However, this same factor lost his black audience, which left him neglected in the 1960s blues revival. 
During the 1960's, he toured Europe and continued touring throughout the United States. By the 1970's, however, Fuller was limited to performing in local venues around the Oakland, California area. In 1974, Fuller issued his debut album, Fuller's Blues which was well received, but saw little commercial success. Fuller played at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1973 and 1977.

He latterly worked as a mechanic in a local garage from 1968 to 1983 yet continued performing in the Oakland area during the 1980's. He died from lung cancer in Oakland, California, in May 1985, at the age of 56. (Info edited from Wikipedia & Findagrave)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For JOHNNY FULLER/ Complete Recordings go here:

and here:

For track listing go here:

A big thank you to Gerard Herzhaft for this wonderful home compilation.