Johnny Rawls

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Johnny Rawls
Born(1951-12-10) December 10, 1951 (age 60)
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
GenresSoul blues[1]
OccupationsSinger, guitarist, arranger, songwriter, producer
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1970s–present
LabelsJSP, various
WebsiteJohnnyrawlsblues.com
 
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Johnny Rawls
Born(1951-12-10) December 10, 1951 (age 60)
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
GenresSoul blues[1]
OccupationsSinger, guitarist, arranger, songwriter, producer
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1970s–present
LabelsJSP, various
WebsiteJohnnyrawlsblues.com

Johnny Rawls (born December 10, 1951)[2] is an American soul blues singer, guitarist, arranger, songwriter and record producer. He was influenced by the deep soul music of the 1960s, as performed by O. V. Wright, James Carr, and Z. Z. Hill, although his styling, production and lyrics are more contemporary in nature.[1][2]

To date, Rawls has released more than a dozen albums under his name.[3] He has been nominated five times for a Blues Music Award.[4][5]

Contents

Life and career

Rawls was in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.[1][note 1] He was taught the rudiments of guitar playing by his blind grandfather, and also played the saxophone and clarinet in high school in Purvis, Mississippi.[1] Having mastered guitar playing by his mid teens, Rawls' schoolteacher arranged for him to back musicians who were touring through Mississippi, such as Z. Z. Hill and Joe Tex. In the mid 1970s, Rawls joined O. V. Wright's backing band, and played together with Wright until the latter's death in 1980. The band then continued billed as the O. V. Wright Band for another 13 years, and toured and performed with other musicians over this time span. These included B.B. King, Little Milton, Bobby Bland, Little Johnny Taylor, and Blues Boy Willie.[1] The band included the guitarist L.C. Luckett, and he and Rawls jointly released the 1994 album, Can't Sleep At Night, on Rooster Blues.[2]

His debut solo album, Here We Go, was released on JSP in 1996. The Allmusic journalist, Thom Owens, noted, "Rawls has a powerful, soulful voice which can make mediocre material sound convincing."[6] Rawls also worked as an arranger and record producer for JSP.[7] Further JSP releases included Louisiana Woman (1997), My Turn to Win (1999), and Put Your Trust in Me (2001), although by the time the latter was issued, Rawls had set up his own label, Deep South Soul.[2] Rawls appeared on the cover of the Living Blues magazine in April 2002, where he was described as "a soul-blues renaissance man".[4][7] The 2005 release No Boundaries, on Topcat Records increased his profile.[7]

His 2006 album Heart & Soul, was nominated for a Blues Music Award for 'Best Soul Blues Album of the Year'. In the same year, the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame named him 'Best Vocalist'. Rawls has twice played at the Chicago Blues Festival, twice at the Long Beach Blues Festival, and at the Boundary Waters Blues Festival. Red Cadillac (2008) won the Critics Award for Best Album of the Year in Living Blues. He has also been honored, along with Little Milton and Tyrone Davis, with a Blues Trail Marker in Hattiesburg.[4] The title song of Rawls 2009 album, Ace of Spades, was a tribute to his one time mentor, O. V. Wright.[7] The album also garnered Rawls with his first Blues Music Award for 'Best Soul Blues Album of the Year'.[8]

Rawls latest album Memphis Still Got Soul, was released in April 2011.[4][8] With a further reference to Wright, the album's track listing included Rawls cover of the song "Blind, Crippled and Crazy", which was originally associated with Wright.[5]

Discography

Albums

YearTitleRecord labelNotes
1994Can't Sleep At NightRooster BluesBilled as Rawls & Luckett
1995Down to EarthRooster BluesBilled as Rawls & Luckett
1996Here We GoJSP Records
1997Louisiana WomanJSP Records
1999My Turn to WinJSP Records
2001Put Your Trust in MeJSP Records
2002Lucky ManDeep South Soul
2002Get Up & GoJSP RecordsCompilation album
2004Live in MontanaDeep South SoulLive album
2005No BoundariesTopcat Records
2006Heart & SoulDeep South Soul
2008Red CadillacCatfood Records
2009Ace of SpadesCatfood Records
2011Memphis Still Got SoulCatfood Records

[2][3][7]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Some sources cite Columbia, Mississippi, as Rawls birth place.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Richard Skelly. "Johnny Rawls". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p117226. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Johnny Rawls". Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Music.us. October 4, 2010. http://www.music.us/biography/artist/25248/johnny_rawls.html. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b ((( Johnny Rawls > Discography > Main Albums ))) "Allmusic". http://www.allmusic.com/artist/johnny-rawls-p117226/discography ((( Johnny Rawls > Discography > Main Albums ))). 
  4. ^ a b c d "Johnny Rawls - "Keep the Blues Alive"". Johnnyrawlsblues.com. http://www.johnnyrawlsblues.com/Biography.html. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Johnny Rawls - artist bio". Markpuccimedia.com. http://www.markpuccimedia.com/johnnyrawls_bio.htm. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Here We Go > Overview". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/here-we-go-r272759. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Johnny Rawls and The Rays". Catfoodrecords.com. http://www.catfoodrecords.com/bios-discography.html. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Reverend Keith A. Gordon. "Johnny Rawls - Memphis Still Got Soul (2011)". Blues.about.com. http://blues.about.com/od/cddvdreview1/fr/Johnny-Rawls-Memphis-Still-Got-Soul-2011.htm. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 

External links