A Rockapaedia Obituary

General Johnsonphoto of General Johnson

Band: Chairmen of the Board

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    General Johnson died aged sixty-nine, seemingly from lung cancer, on 13th October, 2010, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.
    General Johnson was born General Norman Johnson on May 23rd, 1941 in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.A. and made an early start in music when he began singing in his church choir at the age of six. His recording debut came six years later on Atlantic Records, who recorded his group the Humdingers, although the tracks remain unreleased.
     In 1961, and following a change in name to the Showmen, General Johnson and the group recorded “It Will Stand” – a single for Minit Records. It was a chart hit in both 1961 and 1964. Although the Showmen recorded other offerings for Minit and Swan, they split up in 1968.

    General Johnson attempted an abortive solo career before joining the then new Invictus label in Detroit, Michigan. Steered by Holland-Dozier-Holland, General Johnson recruited Danny Woods (ex-The Showmen), Harrison Kennedy, and Eddie Curtis and created Chairmen of the Board. Their debut single, "Give Me Just a Little More Time", rose to number 3 in the US Billboard R&B chart in 1970. Further hits followed including "(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String" and "Everything's Tuesday."
    General Johnson commenced a career as songwriter with "Pay to the Piper," becoming a modest success for Chairmen of the Board. Other songs he wrote were successful when recorded by other musicians. These included the Grammy Award winning "Patches" for Clarence Carter (Jerry Reed also recorded a country music cover version). Invictus Records labelmates Honey Cone recorded the General Johnson penned tracks "Want Ads", "Stick Up," and "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show." General Johnson also wrote "Bring the Boys Home" for Freda Payne.

    Chairmen of the Board's popularity diminished in the middle of the 1970s, although General Johnson and Woods remained together re-billed as the Chairmen. General Johnson tried a solo career again in 1976, and his debut solo album on Arista Records was a modest success. He teamed up again with Woods in the following decade, making a living on the beach music circuit. In 1993, General Johnson released another album, What Goes Around Comes Around.image of General Johnson
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music:'Chairman of the Board (1970) - Chairman of the Board (Full Album)'