Client Page - Johnny Rivers



In 1964, when the British Invasion was in progress and American rockers were tough to find on the U.S. pop charts, Johnny Rivers was one of the first to regain a foothold; his first Top 10 record came right in the midst of Beatlemania. His formula was much the same as the British style vintage American rock n' roll and R&B played with a verve and simplicity that gave his music a contemporary edge. Over the next four years his funky, go-go rock gave him a steady stream of Top 10 records. His first #1 record came when, against the advice of the record company, he abruptly switched gears and began cutting ballads. The southern tone in much of Rivers' music was authentic. John Henry Ramistella was born November 7, 1942, in New York City. When he was about five, his father wound up out of work. The Ramistella's moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where an uncle, head of the Louisiana State University art department, got John's dad work painting houses and antiquing furniture. John's first musical inspiration was his father. "My dad and uncle used to get together and play these old Italian folk songs on mandolin and guitar." As John started playing, he listened to R&B on the late-night radio, megawatt stations like WLAC in Nashville. However, R&B was a way of life in Baton Rouge. "When I went to Baton Rouge Junior High, Fats Domino, Jimmy Reed and guys like that used to play at our dances," Rivers says. By junior high, he was sitting in with various local bands, including one led by Dick Holler, who later wrote "Abraham, Martin And John." Holler's guitarist was the still-unknown Jimmy Clanton. Holler, Rivers says, "introduced me to a lot of R&B artists and opened up a whole new world for me." Johnny formed his own band The Spades in 1956. "We played all Fats' tunes... Little Richard, Larry Williams, Bobby Bland," Rivers says. "We became the hot little band around Baton Rouge. Then Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis hit so I took on a little touch of rockabilly."..........


Read more and listen to his latest:   https://johnnyrivers.com/jr/land_of_dreams.htm












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