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mercredi 10 octobre 2018

JOHNNIE MORISETTE



JOHNNIE MORISETTE/ Johnny Two Voice

           
Johnnie Morisette a été un des noms importants du blues et du R&B californiens mais son éclectisme l'a peut-être empêché d'être reconnu à sa juste mesure.
            Né le 1er juillet 1935 sur l'Ile Lui au Brésil, Johnnie Morisette a été élevé à Mobile (Alabama). Il chante très jeune au sein du True Vine Baptist Choir et fonde les Bells Of Heaven avec des camarades d'école. C'est en 1950 sa rencontre avec le chanteur Sam Cooke au Twilight Café de Mobile que Johnnie s'intéresse au blues. Il participe à plusieurs radios crochets et, encouragé par l'appréciation que tout le monde a pour ses talents de chanteur, il décide de gagner Los Angeles en auto-stop pour y tenter sa chance en 1953. En quelques mois, il chante dans plusieurs cabarets, trouve un engagement au Club Oasis au sein du Johnny Otis Show et enregistre pour Dootsie Williams dès 1955 sous le nom de Johnny Two Voice (surnom donné pour ses capacités peu communes d'alterner voix basse et en falsetto).

            Ces disques attirent l'attention de Little Richard qui le fait alors signer un contrat sur Specialty pour lequel il grave deux 45t qui malheureusement n'ont aucun succès. Durant un moment, Johnnie "gagne" sa vie comme souteneur à Watts (!).... Heureusement au début des années 1960, Sam Cooke lance son label SAR et demande à Morisette de revenir à la musique. Ces séances sont extrêmement réussies et Johnnie obtient ce qui sera son seul gros succès commercial avec Meet me at the Twistin' Place qui atteindra la 18ème place au Billboard!
            Conséquence de ce Hit, Johnnie tourne à travers les Etats Unis en compagnie de Shows de R&B, notamment avec Joe Houston et son orchestre, s'installe à San Francisco et enregistre plusieurs 45t pour divers labels (Savoy, Bay Tone, Icepack, Checker, Convoy...) qui malheureusement n'ont guère qu'un petit impact local.
            Il tente une association (pas très convaincante) avec la chanteuse Soul Jennell Hawkins le temps d'un LP en 1973 puis est obligé de vivre à nouveau hors de la musique et du Show Business.
            Au milieu des années 1970, Johnnie migre à nouveau, cette fois à Dallas où il achète un club, y chante les week ends. Il retourne cependant régulièrement à San Francisco où il se lie d'amitié avec Jesse James pour lequel il enregistre à la fin des années 1990 quelques titres qui paraîtront sur un CD posthume.

            En effet, Johnnie Morisette décède d'une crise cardiaque à San Francisco le 1er août 2000.
            Nous avons regroupé ici l'essentiel des titres que Morisette a gravés durant sa carrière. Il y démontre d'excellentes qualités de chanteur et de bluesman qui auraient dû lui valoir une meilleure reconnaissance auprès des amateurs. Grâce à D.O. et hwolf, il ne manque donc plus que 2 titres. Merci à ceux qui les auraient et souhaiteraient les faire partager!
            Merci beaucoup à Marc D., D.O., hwolf et Alan Bronstein pour leur aide ainsi qu'à Opal Louis Nationas pour la biographie de Johnnie qui a servi de base à cet article.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            Johnnie Morisette is an important blues and Californian R&B artist although he is not always recognized as such, probably because of his eclecticism and a rather hectic musical career.
            Born 1st July 1945 in the tiny Lui Island in Brazil, Johnnie has been raised in Mobile (Alabama). He starts at a young age singing in the local True Vine Baptist Choir and with a couple of schoolmates launch a vocal group, The Bells of Heaven. In 1950, his meeting with Sam Cooke who comes to sing at the Twilight Café of Mobile turns him more into the blues. He then sings here and there as a solo artist, wins several radio talent shows and in 1953, he hitchhikes to Los Angeles to try his luck as a professional musician. It takes him not a long time to be able to sing in several clubs, chiefly the Club Oasis as a vocalist of the Johnny Otis Show, opening for big names like Roy Brown, Earl King or Smiley Lewis. He also records for Dootsie Williams in 1955 under the nickname Johnny Two Voice, a name given to him by DJ Dr Gizmo for his ability to sing bass and falsetto in the same row!
            Those records and appearances draw the attention of Little Richard who brings him to Art Rupe who records him for two Specialty 45s that give a lot of hopes to Johnnie but unfortunately go nowhere. For a while, Johnnie has even to make a living as a pimp (!)... But in 1960, Sam Cooke starts his SAR label and persuades Johnnie to get back to the music. Those SAR sessions are extremely successful, artistically and also commercially: the driving Meet me at the Twistin' Place climbs up to the 18th rank on the Billboard. This allows Johnnie to tour the USA with R&B Shows, quite often backed by Joe Houston's Orchestra and to record a string of very good 45s for several labels (Savoy, Bay Tone, Icepack, Checker, Convoy...) that once again don't have much more than a very limited success.
            He tries a so-so association with Soul singer Jennell Hawkins for a LP in 1973 but once again has to make a living outside music.
            Around 1975, Johnnie goes to live to Dallas where he runs a club in which he sings the week ends while he also goes back regularly to San Francisco where he becomes friend with singer/producer Jesse James. He suffers several heart attacks, has to bypass heart surgery, has the time to record several blues numbers for Jesse at the end of the 1990's (that will be issued posthumously). Johnnie Morisette dies of a heart attack while in San Francisco on 1st August 2000.
            We have here gathered almost all Johnnie Morisette's recordings where he displays his great talents as a singer and a bluesman that should have gained him much more recognition. Still only 2 titles are missing and thanks to all of those who would own them and would like to share!
            In the meantime, a lot of thanks to Marc D., D.O., hwolf and Alan Bronstein for their help and Opal Louis Nations for his excellent bio of Johnnie that served as a basis for this article.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


JOHNNIE MORISETTE
Complete Recordings
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; The Medallions, vcls (Jimmy Green, Charles Gardner, Albert Johnson, Otis Scott); band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1955
01. My pretty baby
02. I'll never love again
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1958
You and your lovin' way (Thanks to D.O.)
03. Comin' around the mountain
04. Superman
05. You done gone
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. mai 1960
06. In my heart
07. Never
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. novembre 1960
08. You're always on my mind
09. Damper (Turn your damper down)
10. Dorothy
Don't cry baby (Thanks to D.O.)
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; Roy Johnson, pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. janvier 1961
You're my sunshine (thanks to hwolf)
Your heart will sing (thanks to hwolf)
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; Plas Johnson, t-sax; Ray Johnson, pno; Earl Palmer, dms; band. Los Angeles, Ca. septembre 1961
11. Sho' miss you baby
12. Meet me at the twistin' place I & II
13. Wildest girl in town
14. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; Johnny "Guitar" Watson, g; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1962
15. Don't throw your love on me so strong
16. Blue monday
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; Cal Green, g; Arthur Wright, g; Johnny Watson, pno; Plas Johnson, t-sax; Curtis Tillman, bs; Earl Palmer, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. septembre 1963
17. I don't need nobody but you
18. Black night
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; similar band. Los Angeles, Ca. octobre 1963
19. Gotta keep smilin'
20. I'll never come running back to you
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; The Mike Lewis Combo, band. San Francisco, Ca. janvier 1964
21. Run
22. Bad shape
23. Bat man for days
24. For days
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. avril 1964
25. Brick (A Brick baby)
26. Chains of love

Johnnie Morisette, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1965
27. Meet me at the Funk House I & II
28. Death powder, cold steel
29. Change done come
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 24 juin 1970
I know it was your love
I love women
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; Jennell Hawkins, vcl; Terry Evans, g; Clifford Scott, t-sax; kbds; Mr Thump Thump Papa Son, bs; Mickey Conway, dms; Jungle Boy P.T., congas. Los Angeles, Ca. 1973
30. Treat me right
31. I'm hungry
32. Hell all the way
33. (I wanna) Bite all over you
34. I wonder who
35. Disco roots
36. Love is something
37. Glory Glory
Johnnie Morisette, vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. c. 1998
38. Back 'dare
39. Don't bite the hand that feeds you
40. Down here in the projects
41. I'm gonna woop the hell outta you
42. No more welfare for me
43. Project wiggle
44. Takin' my time
45. Interview

(pour le téléchargement des titres sans numéro, cliquez dessus pour avoir le lien ou allez voir dans les commentaires/ to dload the titles here without number, just click upon it to get the link or go to the comments section)

12 commentaires:

  1. Johnnie Morisette

    CD1/
    https://mega.nz/#!TRA1yQbY!PjHarrJ1S69ie-_kZd-6rwuqx6ipug0McsiBejBswz0

    CD2/
    https://mega.nz/#!yMQTSAJZ!ea4Ux52c-N2qywquo8-lbVbieayFa3UcjFXFA7rhx2k

    OK?

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  2. Super, merci!
    D.O.

    voici deux des titres manquants, ''You And Your Lovin' Way'' et ''Don't Cry Baby''
    https://www63.zippyshare.com/v/oekaC1D4/file.html
    https://www48.zippyshare.com/v/B8IaglhA/file.html

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  3. Thank you very much Gerard. I see that Don't Cry Baby & You and Your Lovin Way can be dl on Amazon digital from an album called Essential Soul Masters released in 2009 by the Burning Fire label.

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  4. Merci D.O. pour ces deux titres. Je ne comprends pas comment j'ai pu les rater!
    Thanks to D.O. for two missing titles and thank you Ballas too

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  5. Thank you Gerard, and D.O. for all these interesting tracks.

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  6. Gerard you are a blues gem! Admirable how you always know to surprise me (us) with your solid work. Love your dedication. Awesome.

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    Réponses
    1. Thanks muddyw123 for your kind remarks. In fact, I did it the same kind of work for years for Records Companies (and for my bread and butter!). But which record company (outside a very very few ones like Ace or Fremeaux) would be able/want to do this kind of reissues towards a very limited amount of blues buffs and with of course very short figure sales? After trying to involve some outfits in the project without any success a few years back, I thus decided to do it on the net. But of course, even if I don't count my own time, those researches, buying rare 45s etc... costs me some and that's why I need some real (and in buying my books it's the best way to support) support from those who like, download, use and sometimes even hack my work and put it on Amazon or else for sales and grabbing a little buck or two without having done anything....

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  7. Johnnie Morisette
    You Are My Sunshine
    https://www107.zippyshare.com/v/KcMDbRYe/file.html

    Johnnie Morisette
    Your Heart Will Sing
    https://www107.zippyshare.com/v/V1i4PONZ/file.html

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    Réponses
    1. Thank you very much hwolf! Now only two titles are still missing!

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