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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Johnny Adams born 5 February 1932

Laten John Adams, Jr. (January 5, 1932 – September 14, 1998), known as Johnny Adams, was an American blues, jazz and gospel singer, known as "The Tan Canary" for the multi-octave range of his singing voice, his swooping vocal mannerisms and falsetto. His biggest hits were his versions of "Release Me" and "Reconsider Me" in the late 1960s. 

Adams was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the oldest of 10 children. He became a professional musician on leaving school. He began his career singing gospel with the Soul Revivers and Bessie Griffin's Consolators, but crossed over to secular music in 1959. His neighbour, the songwriter Dorothy LaBostrie, supposedly persuaded him to start performing secular music after hearing him sing in the bathtub. 

He recorded LaBostrie's ballad "I Won't Cry" for Joe Ruffino's Ric label. Produced by the teenaged Mac Rebennack (later known as Dr. John), the record became a local hit. Adams recorded several more singles for the label over the next three years, most of them produced by Rebennack or Eddie Bo. His first national hit came in 1962, when "A Losing Battle", written by Rebennack, reached number 27 on the Billboard R&B chart. 

After Ruffino's death in 1963, Adams left Ric and recorded for a succession of labels, including Eddie Bo's Gone Records, the Los Angeles–based Modern Records, and Wardell Quezergue's Watch label. His records had little success until he signed with Shelby Singleton's Nashville-based SSS International Records in 1968. A reissue of "Release Me", originally released by Watch, reached number 34 on the R&B chart and number 82 on the pop chart.

Its follow-up, "Reconsider Me", a country song produced by Singleton, became his biggest hit, reaching number 8 on the R&B chart and number 28 on the pop chart in 1969. Two more singles, "I Can't Be All Bad" and "I Won't Cry" (a reissue of the Ric recording), were lesser hits later the same year, and the label released an album, Heart and Soul. 

Adams left SSS International in 1971 and recorded unsuccessfully for several labels, including Atlantic and Ariola, over the next few years. At the same time, he began performing regularly at Dorothy's Medallion Lounge in New Orleans and touring nightclubs in the south. 

In 1983, he signed with Rounder Records, for which he recorded nine critically acclaimed albums produced by Scott Billington, beginning with From the Heart in 1984. These records encompassed a wide range of jazz, blues and R&B styles and highlighted Adams's voice. The albums included tributes to the songwriters Percy Mayfield and Doc Pomus. The jazz-influenced Good Morning Heartache included the work of composers like George Gershwin and Harold Arlen. Other albums in this series are Room with a View of the Blues (1988), Walking on a Tightrope (1989), and The Real Me (1991). These recordings earned him a number of awards, including a W.C. Handy Award. He also toured internationally, with frequent trips to Europe, and worked and recorded with such musicians as Aaron Neville, Harry Connick Jr., Lonnie Smith, and Dr. John. 

Adams was diagnosed as suffering from cancer in 1997, and a fund was set up in New Orleans to help with his medical bills. He died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1998 after a long battle with prostate cancer.  (Info mainly Wikipedia)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Johnny Adams – Released - A Memorial Album “go here:

1 Release Me
2 You Made A New Man Out Of Me
3 In A Moment Of Weakness
4 I Won't Cry
5 I Want To Walk Through This Life With You
6 Reconsider Me
7 If I Could See You One More Time
8 South Side Of The Street
9 Georgia Morning Dew
10 Real Live Livin' Hurtin' Man
11 Lonely Man
12 Proud Woman
13 A Losing Battle
14 How Can I Prove I Love You
15 You Can Depend On Me
16 Let Me Be By Myself
17 It's Got To Be Something
18 Share Your Love With Me
19 Your Love Is All I Need
20 Stairway To Heaven
21 After All The Good Is Gone
22 Chasing Rainbows
23 Love Me Now
24 Hell Yes I Cheated

The chronological span of this anthology is given in its subtitle, "The Big Voice, The Big Songs 1968-1983." Unfortunately, the year of release is not given for individual songs in the track listing, although the liner notes do at least admit that the "latter half" of this CD covers 1976-1983. It can be reasonably inferred that the first half thus covers material starting in the late '60s and dating from no later than the mid-'70s, particularly as it definitely does include his 1968-1970 singles "Reconsider Me," "Release Me," and "I Won't Cry." It's the earlier half of the CD -- probably mostly or wholly from the late '60s and early '70s, from the sound of things -- that commands the most attention, comprising accomplished Nashville soul. These cuts are a bit poppier than deep Southern soul, crossing gospel, swamp pop, R&B, blues, and even some country, funk, and New Orleans influences in an easygoing, warm fashion. Adams' likable vocals, which convey passion without breaking out in a sweat, retain their charm on the later material, the arrangements ranging from decently down-home to too sweet and slick urban soul flourishes, particularly in the keyboards.

AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger

A big Thank You to Ludovico “ Entre Musica blog for original link