Johnny Duncan (country singer)

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Johnny Duncan
Johnny Duncan (1971).png
Johnny Duncan in 1971
Background information
Birth nameJohnny Richard Duncan
Born(1938-10-05)October 5, 1938
OriginDublin, Texas
DiedAugust 14, 2006(2006-08-14) (aged 67)
GenresCountry
OccupationsSinger
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1970–2006
LabelsColumbia Records
Associated actsJohnny Duncan Music
 
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Johnny Duncan
Johnny Duncan (1971).png
Johnny Duncan in 1971
Background information
Birth nameJohnny Richard Duncan
Born(1938-10-05)October 5, 1938
OriginDublin, Texas
DiedAugust 14, 2006(2006-08-14) (aged 67)
GenresCountry
OccupationsSinger
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1970–2006
LabelsColumbia Records
Associated actsJohnny Duncan Music

Johnny Richard Duncan (October 5, 1938 – August 14, 2006) was an American country singer. In his career, he released fourteen studio albums, including thirteen on Columbia Records. These albums produced more than thirty chart singles, with three of those reaching Number One: "Thinkin' of a Rendezvous" and "It Couldn't Have Been Any Better", and "She Can Put Her Shoes Under my Bed (Anytime)" from 1976, 1977, and 1978 respectively. Seven more of his singles were Top Ten hits.

Biography[edit]

Duncan was born in Dublin, Texas. Before he went to Nashville, Tennessee, Duncan attended TCU (Texas Christian University) in Fort Worth, Texas. He then spent a few years in Clovis, New Mexico. He was a cousin of Dan Seals, who was also a major country performer.

Early life and influences[edit]

Duncan's early life was steeped in West Texas music. He picked this up naturally as a boy listening to his mother play rhythm guitar in his uncle's country band. Later, he began sharpening his vocal skills, influenced by his early idols Eddy Arnold, Perry Como, Jim Reeves, and Frank Sinatra. Johnny was born into a musical family. He is very proud of his talented and famous cousins, including Eddie Seals, Jimmy Seals of Seals & Crofts, and country singer Dan Seals. "He knew when he was 12 years old that playing music and singing songs was going to be his life," said his wife, Connie Duncan, 54.[1]

"He grew up here in a small country town and loved music," Jim Harrell said. "His mother played herself and a lot of his cousins played with him." (Jim Harrell, owner and funeral director of Harrell Funeral Home in Dublin, which handled arrangements for his funeral) His cousins became famous as well – Jimmy Seals of Seals & Crofts and country singer Dan Seals.[2]

After playing and singing with his musically-gifted family for a few years, he decided to move where the bigger action was—Nashville, Tennessee.

Duncan wrote many songs recorded by artists such as, Charley Pride, Marty Robbins, Chet Atkins, Conway Twitty and Jim Ed Brown.

Career[edit]

In Franklin, Tennessee, Duncan worked as a DJ and performed on local morning TV shows. He began to record for Columbia Records in the late 1960s.

Between 1967 and 1973, Duncan's recordings never reached the top 20 until "Sweet Country Woman" entered at number six.

Duncan performed duets with Janie Fricke in the 1970s, many of which were highly successful. Their songs "Stranger" and "Thinking of a Rendezvous" (both 1976); "It Couldn't Have Been Any Better" (1977); and "Come A Little Bit Closer" (1978, a remake of the song first made popular by Jay and the Americans) were the most successful. In fact, "Thinking of a Rendezvous" and "It Couldn't Have Been Any Better" both went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, as did Duncan's solo 1978 single "She Can Put Her Shoes Under My Bed Anytime".

Duncan's string of Top 10 hits continued into 1979 – most notably a cover of Johnny Rivers' "Swayin' to the Music" (released by Duncan as "Slow Dancing") and "The Lady in the Blue Mercedes" – and he even enjoyed another Top 20 hit with Fricke in 1980 with a duet version of Michael Jackson's "She's out of My Life". His star power faded in the early 1980s with changing musical tastes, although his biggest songs were popular country radio recurrents through the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Death[edit]

Duncan died of a heart attack on August 14, 2006, at the age of 67.

Family[edit]

Duncan has three daughters with his first wife, Betty Deisher[3] and one son with wife Connie Duncan, who survives him.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

YearAlbumChart PositionsLabel
US CountryCAN Country
1968Johnny One Time40Columbia
1969Back to Back (w/ June Stearns)
1971There's Something About a Lady
1973Sweet Country Woman34
You're Gonna Need a ManHarmony
1977Johnny Duncan21Columbia
Come a Little Bit Closer27
1978The Best Is Yet to Come428
1979See You When the Sun Goes Down
Straight from Texas
1980In My Dreams61
Nice'n Easy (w/ Janie Fricke)
You're On My Mind
1986Faraway HideawayPharaoh

Compilation albums[edit]

YearAlbumUS CountryLabel
1976The Best5Columbia
1978Greatest Hits45
1998Pure Country
Classic CountrySimitar
2003It Couldn't Have Been Any BetterCollector's Choice

Singles[edit]

YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US CountryCAN Country
1967"Hard Luck Joe"54Johnny One Time
1968"Baby Me Baby"67
"To My Sorrow"47
"Jackson Ain't a Very Big Town" (w/ June Stearns)21Back to Back
1969"I Live to Love You"70Single only
"Back to Back (We're Strangers)" (w/ June Stearns)74Back to Back
"When She Touches Me"30Johnny One Time
1970"Window Number Five"65You're Gonna Need a Man
"You're Gonna Need a Man"39There's Something About a Lady
"My Woman's Love"68
"Let Me Go (Set Me Free)"2743
1971"There's Something About a Lady"19
"One Night of Love"39Sweet Country Woman
"Baby's Smile, Woman's Kiss"12You're Gonna Need a Man
1972"Fools"1916Sweet Country Woman
"Here We Go Again"66Single only
1973"Sweet Country Woman"68Sweet Country Woman
"Talkin' with My Lady"1842The Best
1974"The Pillow"47The Best Is Yet to Come
"Scarlet Water"66The Best
1975"Charley Is My Name"57Johnny Duncan
"Jo and the Cowboy"2628The Best
1976"Gentle Fire"86
"Stranger"413
"Thinkin' of a Rendezvous"11Johnny Duncan
1977"It Couldn't Have Been Any Better"11
"A Song in the Night"A55Come a Little Bit Closer
"Come a Little Bit Closer" (w/ Janie Fricke)42
1978"She Can Put Her Shoes Under My Bed (Anytime)"11The Best Is Yet to Come
"Hello Mexico (And Adios Baby to You)"47
1979"Slow Dancing"68See You When the Sun Goes Down
"The Lady in the Blue Mercedes"921Straight from Texas
1980"Play Another Slow Song"1731
"I'm Gonna Love You Tonight (In My Dreams)"1748In My Dreams
"He's Out of My Life" (w/ Janie Fricke)1720Nice'n Easy
"Acapulco"16You're On My Mind
1981"All Night Long"40Single only
1986"The Look of a Lady in Love"69Faraway Hideaway
"Texas Moon"81

References[edit]

  1. ^ Press, Associated (August 15, 2006). "Country singer Johnny Duncan dies". The Dallas Morning News. 
  2. ^ Press, Associated (August 15, 2006). "Country singer Johnny Duncan dies". The Dallas Morning News. 
  3. ^ Johnny Duncan at Allmusic

External links[edit]