Donnerstag, 7. August 2014

Johnnie & Joe - Part 1



Johnnie & Joe
(Bronx, New York)

Part 1: lineup, discography, biography and video

Joe Rivers & Johnnie Louise Richardson

Group members:

Johnnie Louise Richardson
Joe Rivers

Discography:

Singles:

1956 - Feel Alright / I'll Be Spinning (J&S 1762/1763 / Chess 1641)
1957 - Over The Mountain, Cross The Sea / My Baby's Gone, On, On (J& S 1664)
1957 - Over The Mountain, Across The Sea / My Baby's Gone, On, On (J & S 1654 / Chess 1654)1957- It Was There / There Goes My Heart (On Fire For You) (J&S 1659)
1957 - I Was So Lonely / If You Tell Me You're Mine (J&S 1603 / Chess 1677)
1957 - Trust In Me / Who Do You Love? (J&S 1605/1606)
1958 - Trust In Me / Who Do You Love? (Gone 5024)*
1958 - Why Did She Go / Why Oh Why (Chess 1693)
1958 - Darling / My Baby's Gone (And Left Me) (Chess 1706)
1958 – Warm, Soft And Lovely / False Love Has Got To Go (J&S 1630/1631)
1959 - Red Sails In The Sunset / Where Did She Go? (J&S 1701)**
1960 - I Adore You / I Want You Here Beside Me (ABC-Paramount 10079)
1960 - Why Do You Hurt Me So / Your Love (ABC-Paramount 10117)
1960 - You're In Love With Someone Else / You're Just Right For The Part (J&S 1684)
1960 - You Said It And Don't Forget It / Across The Sea (J&S 1679/1680 / Chess 1769)
1962 - Over The Mountain, Across The Sea / My Baby's Gone, On, On (J&S 1654)
1962 - Over The Mountain (Part 2) / Won't You Come Back To Me (J & S 1008)
1963 - Speak Softly (Angel) / We Get That Feelin' (Omega 237)
1963 - My Ideal / That Trash (Omega 967)
1963 - My Dreams Have Been Bubbles / Why Don't You Stop (J&S 1004/1005)
1963 - You're Just Right For The Part / You're In Love With Someone Else (J&S 1684/1685)***
1963 - The Devil Said No, Gone With Your Bad Self / You Can Always Count On Me (J&S 4420/4421)
1964 - Here We Go, Baby / That's The Way You Go (Tuff 379)
1965 - Over The Mountain, Across The Sea**** / Shortening Bread (Lana 121)
1968 - You're The Loveliest Song I Ever Heard / Let Your Mind Do The Walking (J&S 42832)
1969 - Crying To The World Outside / My Baby Is So Sweet (Blue Rock 4084)
1970 - False Love Has Got To Go / Jamaica - Our Thing (J&S 8718-7)
1970 - Sincere Love / Tell Me (J&S 8719)
1982 - Kingdom Of Love / Tossin' Turnin' (Yearnin' Burnin' For Your Love) (Ambient Sound 03410)

*Billed as Johnnie and Joe
**Billed as Johnni & Joe
***Billed as Johnnie Richardson & Joe Rivers
****Alt. take, recorded in 1957

EP:

1988 - [Four Tops - Could It Be You / Rockin’ Louie & The Mamma Jammers - Don't Buy Me No Beer / Buster Benton - Lonesome For A Dime] / I Feel Alright (Ripete EP 1004)

Album:

 1982 – {Kingdom Of Love} The Highest Mountain, The Deepest River / Kingdom Of Love / Tossin' Turnin' (Yearnin' Burnin' For Your Love) / When I Write The Book / God Sent Me You / Overnight / Queen Of My Heart / Dear I Swear / If I Just Had You / True Love / Sooner Or Later / A Fool Am I (Ambient Sound LP 38345)

Unreleased:

n/a - I Pray To Keep Our Love Strong (J&S)
n/a - My Dearest, My Love (J&S)
n/a - Over Which Mountain (J&S)
n/a - You Broke Our Hearts (J&S)
n/a – Help Me Brother
n/a – I Wish That Someone Was Me
n/a – Right For The Part
n/a - You Can Always Count On Me

Biography:

The duo comprised Charleston, South Carolina-born Joe Rivers and New Yorker Johnnie Louise Richardson, the daughter of the fabled Zelma “Zell” Sanders, owner of J&S, Scatt, Dice, Zell’s and other labels. Johnnie & Joe debuted on J&S in October 1956 with “Feel Alright” backed with “I’ll Be Spinning”. The rhythmic ballad side “Spinning” was an immediate hit in New York. Modern Records of Los Angeles rushed out a version of the song by The Cadets. Soon the excellence of this disc began to spread across the country with increased radio play, and Chess records in Chicago picked up the distribution from J & S. in November, eventually reaching the R&B Top Ten in January 1957.

J&S 1664: Over The Mountain, Cross The Sea
J&S 1654: Over The Mountain, Across The Sea



The duo’s next disc, “Over The Mountain, Across The Sea” with the B side “My Baby's Gone, On, On” was shipped by J&S the following month. Again the original J & S release was picked up by Chess. Both sides were written by Rex Garvin, who was part of a local group called The Hearts. “Over The Mountain, Across The Sea” was the perfect vehicle to top the charts. A dramatic opening, standard R & B ballad form with great vocal performances and a spoken word fadeout makes for one of the true classics ever recorded during the nineteen fifties.

Rex Garvin
The most interesting part of this record is that it is performed by a trio-if you listen you will hear a second voice singing harmony with Joe Rivers while Johnnie sings wordless counter-melody throughout the song. That third voice belongs to the previously mentioned and wonderfully talented Rex Garvin. Then Dick Clark got behind the record and aired it on his nationally syndicated TV show, American Bandstand. By April it was #1 in Detroit and by May it had entered Billboard’s national charts, where it peaked at #3 R&B a few weeks later, also reaching #8 during a lengthy six-month run on their Hot 100 Pop list. In July “My Baby’s Gone, On, On” joined its A-side in the R&B chart at #15. (“Over The Mountain, Across The Sea” returned to the pop charts in 1960, peaking at #89 the second time around.)

Johnnie Louise Richardson & Joe Rivers


Johnnie & Joe’s third single “It Was There” b/w “There Goes My Heart (On Fire For You)” failed to chart nationally. As happens so often, the high point of the accomplishments by this duo could not be sustained. They came up with fine sounding songs, but the records just did not click with the listeners. Further releases for J&S and variety of other labels in the 60s went nowhere and the time of Johnnie & Joe was now over. During the 70s and 80s they performed in oldies concerts, and made a critically acclaimed album, “Kingdom Of Love”, in 1982.


Joe Rivers & Johnnie Louise Richardson

Johnnie Louise Richardson was felled by a stroke aged 53 in 1988. Joe Rivers still performs on occasion with the former Toys member Barbara Parrett Toomer as his new partner.

Barbara Parrett Toomer & Joe Rivers

Sources:


Video:



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