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Johnny Adams

Renowned around his Crescent City home base as "the Tan Canary" for his extraordinary set of soulfully soaring pipes, veteran R&B vocalist Johnny Adams tackled an exceptionally wide variety of material for Rounder in his later years; elegantly rendered tribute albums to legendary songwriters Doc Pomus and Percy Mayfield preceded forays into mellow, jazzier pastures. But then, Adams was never particularly into the parade-beat grooves that traditionally define the New Orleans R&B sound, preferring to deliver sophisticated soul ballads draped in strings.

Adams sang gospel professionally before crossing over to the secular world in 1959. Songwriter Dorothy LaBostrie -- the woman responsible for cleaning up the bawdy lyrics of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" enough for worldwide consumption -- convinced her neighbor, Adams, to sing her tasty ballad "I Won't Cry." The track, produced by a teenaged Mac Rebennack, was released on Joe Ruffino's Ric logo, and Adams was on his way. He waxed some outstanding follow-ups for Ric, notably "A Losing Battle" (the Rebennack-penned gem proved Adams' first national R&B hit in 1962) and "Life Is a Struggle."

After a prolonged dry spell, Adams resurfaced in 1968 with an impassioned R&B revival of Jimmy Heap's country standard "Release Me" for Shelby Singleton's SSS imprint that blossomed into a national hit. Even more arresting was Adams' magnificent 1969 country-soul classic "Reconsider Me," his lone leap into the R&B Top Ten; in it, he swoops effortlessly up to a death-defying falsetto range to drive his anguished message home with fervor.

Despite several worthy SSS follow-ups ("I Can't Be All Bad" was another sizable seller), Adams never traversed those lofty commercial heights again (particularly disappointing was a short stay at Atlantic). But he found a new extended recording life at Rounder; his 1984 set, From the Heart, proved to the world that this Tan Canary could still chirp like a champ. With producer Scott Billington, he recorded some nine albums for the label prior to his cancer-related death on September 14, 1998. ~ Bill Dahl
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Soul Of New Orleans

1. After All The Good Is Gone

2. Chasing Rainbows

3. I'll Never Fall In Love Again

4. Just My Imagination

5. The Best Of Luck To You

6. Spanish Harlem

7. Hell Yes I Cheated

8. I Live My Whole World At Night

9. Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You

10. Love Letters

11. Cry, Cry Darling

12. Selfish

13. Share Your Love With Me

14. (There's) No Getting Over Me

15. I Only Want To Be With You

16. Give Me A Chance

17. A Shoulder To Cry On

18. One Fine Day

19. Who Will The Next Fool Be

20. I Believe In You

x

Track List: An Introduction To Johnny Adams

1. After All The Good Is Gone

2. The Best Of Luck To You

3. Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You

4. Your Love Is All I Need

5. A Shoulder To Cry On

6. Who Will The Next Fool Be

7. Hell Yes I Cheated

8. I Only Want To Be With You

9. Give Me A Chance

10. Share Your Love With Me

11. Struttin' On Sunday

12. I'll Never Fall In Love Again

13. Love Letters

14. Thinking About You

15. Love Me Now

16. Sharing You

x

Track List: The Great Johnny Adams R&B Album

1. I Need A Lot Of Loving

2. From The Heart

3. You Don't Miss Your Water

4. She Said The Same Things To Me

5. I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home

6. She's Everything To Me

7. Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)

8. Going Out Of My Mind Sale

9. Jealous Kind

10. If I Ever Had A Good Thing

11. Won't Pass Me By

12. Still In Love

x

Track List: The Great Johnny Adams Blues Album

1. Not Trustworthy (A Lyin' Woman)

2. My Heart Is Hangin' Heavy

3. Laughin' And Clownin'

4. Danger Zone

5. Imitation Of Love

6. Garbage Man

7. Roadblock

8. Scarred Knees

9. Fortune Teller

10. Room With A View

11. My Baby's Quit Me

12. This Time I'm Gone For Good

x

Track List: Man Of My Word

1. Even Now

2. It Ain't The Same Thing

3. This Time I'm Gone For Good

4. Going Out Of My Mind Sale

5. Now You Know

6. Up And Down World

7. I Don't Want To Know

8. Man Of My Word

9. You Don't Miss Your Water

10. Bulldog Break His Chain

11. It Tears Me Up

12. Looking Back

13. Never Alone

x

Track List: The Verdict

1. Blue Gardenia

2. The Verdict

3. City Lights

4. Dreams May Be Going Out Of Style

5. Down That Lonely Road

6. I Cover The Waterfront

7. Love For Sale

8. You Always Knew Me Better

9. A Lot Of Living To Do

10. Willow Weep For Me

11. Come Home To Love

12. D Jam Blues

x

Track List: Good Morning Heartache

1. You Don't Know What Love Is

2. I Just Found Out About Love

3. Don't Go To Strangers

4. The Jealous Kind

5. I Hadn't Anyone 'Til You

6. Come Rain Or Come Shine

7. Teach Me Tonight

8. Good Morning Heartache

9. Back To Normal

10. But Not For Me

x

Track List: I Won't Cry

1. (Oh Why) I Won't Cry

2. Life Is A Struggle

3. A Losing Battle

4. Nowhere To Go

5. Oh So Nice

6. I Want To Do Everything For You

7. You Can Make It If You Try

8. Teach Me To Forget

9. Let The Winds Blow

10. I Solemnly Promise

11. Who Are You

12. Come On

13. Someone For Me

14. Lonely Drifter

x

Track List: Johnny Adams Sings Doc Pomus: The Real Me

1. Imitation Of Love

2. Still In Love

3. There Is Always One More Time

4. My Baby's Quit Me

5. She's Everything

6. I Underestimated You

7. Blinded By Love

8. Prisoner Of Life

9. The Night Is A Hunter

10. No One

11. The Real Me

x

Track List: Walking On A Tightrope: The Songs Of Percy Mayfield

1. Walking On A Tightrope

2. Lost Mind

3. Stand By

4. My Heart Is Hangin' Heavy

5. Danger Zone

6. Never No More

7. The Lover And The Married Woman

8. You're In For A Big Surprise

9. Look The Whole World Over

10. Baby Please

x

Track List: Room With A View Of The Blues

1. Room With A View

2. I Don't Want To Do Wrong

3. Not Trustworthy (A Lyin' Woman)

4. Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)

5. How Wrong Can A Good Man Be

6. Body And Fender Man

7. I Owe You

8. Wish I'd Never Loved You At All

9. The Hunt Is On

10. A World I Never Made

x

Track List: From The Heart

1. I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home

2. Why Do I

3. Laughin' And Clownin'

4. If I Ever Had A Good Thing

5. Scarred Knees

6. From The Heart

7. Your Love Is So Doggone Good

8. We Don't See Eye To Eye

9. Roadblock

10. Teach Me To Forget

x

Track List: Heart & Soul

1. Georgia Morning Dew

2. In A Moment Of Weakness

3. Real Live Living Hurtin' Man

4. Lonely Man

5. I Won't Cry

6. Release Me

7. Proud Woman

8. I Can't Be All Bad

9. Losing Battle

10. Living On Your Love

11. Reconsider Me

12. You Made A New Man Out Of Me

14. If I Could See You One More Time

17. I Don't Worry Myself

x

Track List: One Foot In The Blues

1. Won't Pass Me By

2. One Foot In The Blues

3. Baby Don't You Cry

4. Ill Wind

5. Roadblock

6. Angel Eyes

7. Half Awake

8. I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone

9. Two Years Of Torture

10. Cookin' In Style

11. I Know What I've Got

Comments

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xohard7
Cool as all s**t, hot like Sam Cooke, superlative voice...wish mine were like that...
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All the great singers of yesterday has gone on. This man could sing. His voice was wonderful. R.I.P
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New to me..love it!
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The best of Johnny adams


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OMG, my woman is a Fortune Teller...Mr. Adams, you ROCK! Because back in the days, my male relatives would have me rolling about stories about women. You told this song to a T
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jeff.mauldin 6 4
i've found me another GREAT BLUES MAN!!! Y'all need to utube TEXAS BLUES MAN Wes Jeans from Marshall, TEXAS
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I've been listening to Johnny Adams for the past 8 years or so. Particular favorites are A Room with a View of the Blues and Body & Fender Man - I persuaded the jukebox owner at my local to add Johnny Adams to the selections and he made some new fans ...everybody digs it!
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very good blues
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mikben98
Great singer
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I remember back in the day 78' at your house with Jesse Hill and me. You just bought this new guitar , I brought Jimmy Robinson over to help you get down. I knew you were a great singer but I did not realize you we're the best ever. It goes to show that Aman can be thirsty standing in pure, clean water.RIP
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joseph44mill e r
Again what was old is now NEW.
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TAN CANARY The Life And Timezzz Of Bluzzz 67k 3m 14y
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He's from an era where men could sing. Don't get me started on what we have today that masquerades as music.
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Blues lovers: Be sure to check out his ultra-soulfu l song 'There's Always One More Time', and thanks to Lolly Obedah from KFAI, Minneapolis for making sure her listeners hear Johnny Adams music on 'The Sugar Shop'.
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The Tan Canary i had the pleasure to see him perform many times in new orleans .livening here we got to see the best k doe irma jessie hill fats lee dorsey tommie ridgley danny white bobby mitchell dr john allen tousaint chris kenner barbra george dixie cups decon john art &aaron neville.to name a few how lucky can we be in new orleans.The best song i ever heard Johnny sing was his version of RELEASE ME.IT WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF .I CAN'T LISTEN TO IT ONCE I PLAY IT OVER AND OVER.DENNY R MAN
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you have got to be kidding me,an untrustworth y woman! never heard of such a thing
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Back on NOLA recently and heard the Wolfman Washington do a number of his stuff... wonderful !
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have loved his music for years. what a loss!
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vickieprice
Outstanding vocalist! Defies classificati o n .
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grt down johnny,
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joel.cavicch i a
"the tan canary" . . .Johnny Adams . . .a voice like velvet
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i really love the way he sings,hes very very talented....
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he can sing....wow. . . . i like him...
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I Love his music, just discovered him through Pandora. Thank you Pandora.
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davel48
Great rendition of Cover the Waterfront.
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Lordy,lordy hav' mercy! how I love Johnny Adams. His vocal ability was nothing short of magnificent. He is one reason I often times feel homesick for Louisiana. Oh how I wish he was still around.
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I love Johnny Adams, living in New Orleans I remember the CHANDILIER LOUNGE. Good times to remember.
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johnny was one new orleans finest. it was a treat to here HIM at mason las vegas strip in the days. and it was even a better treat when he would stop in on his good friend&my good friend mr. b3 hammond organ SAMMY BERFECT,OVER AT FREDDIE'S CHANDILIER NITE CLUB.WHAT A TIME THEY WOULD HAVE.
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bogaloo
*** Heart & soul ballets,very romantic! ***
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I'd never heard of him before now and am wowed by the number of albums he made!
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johnny sounds a little like les mcanne, he puts his heart into his work,try nether one of us wants to say goodbuy.
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sherryhames
love it; thanks pandora!
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Scarred knees: his is the best! What a a great vocalist.
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nice what can I say but niiiccee!!! ;->
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I don't like his music

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