In Honor of Johnnie Johnson
Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the beloved rock and roller, Johnnie Johnson, for his monumental contributions he has made to American music over the past half-century. The rock and roll community will recognize him for his accomplishments by naming December 1, 1999 "Johnnie Johnson Day" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
It all began on New Year's Eve 1952. The saxophonist for the Johnnie Johnson Trio fell ill and could not perform. Johnnie knew of a local guitar player named Chuck Berry, who agreed to sit in for the occasion. The evening was a smashing success and Berry instantly became a member of the Johnnie Johnson Trio. As their popularity grew, it was evident that Berry had a flare for entertaining audiences. Because of Berry's business insight, Johnnie agreed to make him the headliner. They decided that Berry would write the lyrics, and then he and Johnnie would put the music behind them. They eventually went on to record their first album, Maybellene, in 1955 and later great hits including Roll Over Beethoven, Rock and Roll Music, and Back in the USA.
Although not fully credited in the past, Johnnie Johnson has become widely recognized as the best blues pianist in the world and holder of the trademarks "Father of Rock & Roll" and "Father of Rock & Roll Piano." Recently, Johnnie Johnson has won several "Best Pianist" awards as well as receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Riverfront Times Music Magazine and the city of St. Louis in 1996. In a recent book about the man of music, author Travis Fitzpatrick tells the story of the music and the man that shaped the rock and roll world. Father of Rock & Roll: The Story Of Johnnie "B. Goode" Johnson secures the unsung hero his rightful place in history. Johnnie Johnson is finally on the way to receiving the credit he so rightfully deserves.
My fellow colleagues, please join me in honoring this great musician, Johnnie "B. Goode" Johnson, for his unselfish dedication to music. "Johnnie Johnson Day" is only a small recognition that we could give the man who's music moved us time and again.