JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON

RnB / Blues / Funk / Vocal Jazz • United States
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JOHNNY
Born John Watson in Houston, TX, February 3, 1935; died on stage of a heart attack, May 17, 1996, in Yokohama, Japan; married Susan Maier; two children: son DeJohn and daughter Virginia.

Performing artist, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, early 1950s-1996; moved with family to Los Angeles, ca. 1950; played in West Coast jazz and blues bands, 1950-53; signed to Federal label, 1953; released experimental instrumental single "Space Jam," 1953; released single "Gangster of Love," later covered by Steve Miller, 1957; toured with Little Richard, late 1950s; toured Britain with vocalist Larry Williams, mid-1960s; signed with Fantasy label, 1972; recorded with Frank Zappa on Zappa's One Size Fits All LP, 1975; signed with DJM label, 1976; series of successful blues-funk albums, 1976-80; signed with Bellmark label, 1994.

from http://www.rockabillyhall.com
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JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON Discography

JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON albums / top albums

JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Blues Soul Of Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Vocal Jazz 1963
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Blues 1963
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
I Cried For You
RnB 1967
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
In the Fats Bag
Vocal Jazz 1967
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
Listen
RnB 1973
JOHNNY 3.50 | 1 ratings
I Don't Want To Be Alone, Stranger
RnB 1975
JOHNNY 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Gangster Is Back
Blues 1976
JOHNNY 4.00 | 1 ratings
Ain't That A Bitch
Funk 1976
JOHNNY 4.00 | 1 ratings
Funk Beyond The Call Of Duty
Funk 1977
JOHNNY 3.50 | 3 ratings
A Real Mother For Ya
RnB 1977
JOHNNY 3.50 | 1 ratings
Gangster Of Love
Blues 1977
JOHNNY 3.00 | 1 ratings
Giant
RnB 1978
JOHNNY 4.00 | 1 ratings
Master Funk
RnB 1978
JOHNNY 3.00 | 1 ratings
What The Hell Is This?
Funk 1979
JOHNNY 3.50 | 1 ratings
Love Jones
RnB 1980
JOHNNY 2.50 | 1 ratings
That's What Time It Is
RnB 1981
JOHNNY 4.50 | 1 ratings
Johnny "Guitar" Watson And The Family Clone
RnB 1981
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hit The Highway
Blues 1983
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
Strike On Computers
RnB 1987
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bow Wow
RnB 1994

JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON EPs & splits

JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON live albums

JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON re-issues & compilations

JOHNNY 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Very Best Of Johnny Guitar Watson
RnB 1981
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gangster Of Love (The Best Of)
RnB 1995
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hot Just Like TNT
Blues 1996
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Funk Anthology
Funk 2005
JOHNNY 4.00 | 1 ratings
Best Of The Funk Years
Funk 2006
JOHNNY 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Gangster of Love 1953-1959
Blues 2011
JOHNNY 0.00 | 0 ratings
Singles: A + B Sides & Rarities
Blues 2016

JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON singles (0)

JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON Reviews

JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON A Real Mother For Ya

Album · 1977 · RnB
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
You have to admit that “Real Mother For Ya” has a real mother of an album cover . Yes that’s Johnny’s mom pushing him in a baby carriage that has been made to look like a gold Rolls Royce, implying that young Johnny has grown up to do pretty well for himself in the music business, which indeed he did. Starting in the 50s, Watson was a star guitarist and vocalist in the blues world, especially in Houston where he was from. Moving out to LA, Johnny made the transition to a modern funk sound, and did so convincingly, scoring several big hits, while still maintaining much of his blues flavor. One such big hit was this album’s title track, with its humorous tales of ironic disappointment, rip-offs and plain bad luck. These are the kind of lyrics that anyone can relate to and Watson delivered them with plenty of funny asides in his distinctive twangy voice. The song became a real mover on the dance floor with its double heavy bass reinforced with a heavy analog synthesizer. As is typical for dance records, the title track comes first on side one so that DJs will have no problem finding it.

Sometimes albums like this, which are centered around a big hit, have nothing but filler after the hit passes, but the rest of “Real Mother” contains some well written and creatively produced tracks. Johnny covers all the bases on here, writing all the songs, playing all the instruments except horns and drums, and taking care of production as well. Watson is a great producer, different parts stand out and shimmer as he achieves great separation and clarity, and often puts some semi-psychedelic glitter on things. Johnny’s writing style combines blues, RnB, jazz and art pop, like a mix of Curtis Mayfield, The Ohio Players, The Crusaders and The Beatles. Some interesting tracks include the somewhat spacey, “Your Love is My Love”, on which Watson delivers all the vocals through a vocoder foreshadowing today’s frequent use of such vocals and, “I Wanna Thank You”, on which Johnny reveals he is just as good on the piano as he is on the guitar. “Nothing Left to be Desired” has a dreamy middle section on which Watson builds vocal layers over a jazzy chord progression. Johnny’s lyrics are never deep or heavy, but he delivers them with plenty of clever humor and spoken asides. Looking at the horn section, I see frequent Frank Zappa sideman Walt Fowler on trumpet. As many already know, Watson delivered some humorously over the top vocals on Zappa’s “One Size Fits All”.

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