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Terry Johnson

The longtime leader of doo wop legends the Flamingos, the multifaceted Terry Johnson also served as a Motown staff writer and producer during the label's commercial and creative heyday. Born Isaiah Johnson in Baltimore on November 12, 1938, as a youth he counted the Orioles' Sonny Til and the Swallows' Earl Hurley among his neighbors, while future Flamingos Jake and Zeke Carey were members of his church choir. In 1954, Johnson teamed with four high school friends as the R&B vocal group the Whispers, signing to the Philadelphia-based Gotham Records for a pair of 1955 singles, "Fool Heart" and "Are You Sorry." Johnson wrote, arranged, and sang lead on both records, and after the Whispers dissolved he joined the Flamingos in late 1956, replacing the military-bound Zeke Carey. Not only did his gorgeous tenor fit perfectly with the Flamingos' satiny harmonies and gossamer arrangements, but Johnson's skills as a composer and producer also proved critical, and such hits as "Lovers Never Say Goodbye," "At the Prom," "Heavenly Angel," and the group's signature classic, "I Only Have Eyes for You," are all products of his behind-the-scenes wizardry.

Amid creative differences, Johnson left the Flamingos in 1963, touring with a group he first dubbed the Modern Flamingos, which the Atco label changed to the Starglows upon releasing their sole single, "Let's Be Lovers." A year later, Smokey Robinson recruited Johnson onto the staff of Motown Records. He and Robinson were regular collaborators in the years to follow, sharing a BMI Award for their song "Baby, Please Don't Cry," in addition to writing and producing records for the Four Tops, the Temptations, and the Supremes. In 1969, Johnson issued the solo disc "My Springtime," the first of three solo singles on Motown's Gordy subsidiary. The follow-up, "Whatcha Gonna Do," generated no more attention than its predecessor, and after 1970's "Stone Soul Booster" (credited to "Buzzie," Johnson's childhood nickname), his tenure as a Motown act came to a close. He remained with the company until 1974 and then resumed touring with his own Flamingos lineup, a venture he helmed well into the next century, establishing the group as a mainstay of nightclubs and doo wop package tours. In 2005 Johnson released a solo LP, Still in the Pink, on his own TerryTree label. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 9: 1969

Disc 1

1. Twenty-Five Miles

2. Love Is My Destination

5. Good Lovin' Ain't Easy To Come By

7. We've Got A Way Out Love

8. You're The One

10. My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)

11. I've Got To Find Myself A Brand New Baby

12. Muck-Arty Park

13. Green Grow The Lilacs

19. Don't Mess With My Weekend

20. Ain't No Justice

21. I Had A Dream

22. Didn't You Know (You'd Have To Cry Sometime)

23. Keep An Eye

Disc 2

3. Are You Lonely For Me Baby

4. Your Wonderful Love

6. I Feel Like I'm Falling In Love Again

7. Pin Point It Down

10. Runaway Child Running Wild

11. Gonna Give Her All The Love I've Got

12. For Better Or Worse

13. Don't Mess With Bill

16. My Cup Runneth Over

17. Ask The Lonely

18. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby

19. Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)

20. What Is A Man

21. Don't Bring Back Memories

22. Cherie

23. Baby

24. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)

Disc 3

1. Don't Let The Joneses Get You Down

2. Since I've Lost You

3. Just Ain't Enough Love

4. Green Grow The Lilacs

8. I'm Still A Struggling Man

9. Pretty Little Angel

10. Nitty Gritty

11. Got Myself A Good Man

12. Doggone Right

13. Here I Go Again

14. Abraham, Martin, And John

16. I've Lost Everything I've Ever Loved

22. Oh, I've Been Blessed

23. It Should Have Been Me Loving Her

25. Need Your Love

Disc 4

1. Oh How Happy

4. Suzie

5. My Girl Has Gone

6. I Can't Get Next To You

7. Running Away (Ain't Gonna Help You)

8. That's The Way Love Is

9. Gonna Keep On Tryin' Till I Win Your Love

10. Honey Come Back

11. What Am I Gonna Do Without You

12. Baby, I'm For Real

13. Moment Of Truth

16. In Bed

17. Reality

20. Whiter Shade Of Pale

21. When You Are Available

24. Midnight Cowboy

25. Green Grow The Lilacs

Disc 5

1. That's How Heartaches Are Made

2. Rainy Mourning

3. Home On The Range (Everybody Needs A Home)

5. Mend This Generation

6. Place In The Sun

7. Your Love

9. Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday

10. I'd Be A Fool Right Now

11. It's Private Tonight

12. Let's Make Some Love

13. These Eyes

14. I've Got To Find A Way To Win Maria Back

15. Friendship Train

16. Cloud Nine

17. In My Diary

18. (She's Gonna Love Me) At Sundown

19. I Want You Back

20. Who's Lovin' You

21. If You Will Let Me, I Know I Can

22. Farewell Is A Lonely Sound

Disc 6

3. Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me

4. Key

5. Baby, I'll Get It

7. What You Gave Me

8. How You Gonna Keep It (After You Get It)

9. Generation (Light Up The Sky)

10. Magic Key

11. I'm So Glad I Fell For You

14. Point It Out

15. Darling Dear

17. Can We Talk To You? (For A Little While)

18. Love And Peace

19. Can't You Hear The Music Play

20. I Guess This Is Goodbye

23. How Can I Forget

25. Psychedelic Shack

26. That's The Way Love Is

x

Track List: The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 10: 1970

Disc 1

1. The Bells

2. I'll Wait For You

4. Blackmail

5. My Cherie Amour

6. Never Had A Dream Come True

7. Somebody Knows, Somebody Cares

8. What'cha Gonna Do

9. Time

10. Running Back And Forth

11. Gotta Hold On To This Feeling

12. Clinging To The Thought That She's Coming Back

15. Message From A Black Man

16. Life Beats

17. Up The Ladder To The Roof

18. Bill, When Are You Coming Back

19. Expressin' My Love

20. I Don't Dream No More

21. Get Ready

22. Abc

23. The Young Folks

24. You Need Love Like I Do (Don't You)

25. You're My Everything

Disc 2

1. I Remember When (Dedicated To Beverly) [Promo Version]

2. Sorry Is A Sorry Word

4. The Onion Song

5. California Soul

6. It's All In The Game

7. Love (Is The Answer)

8. Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)

9. These Things Will Keep Me Loving You

10. Dark Side Of The World

12. Love's Your Name

14. Come On People

16. On The Brighter Side Of A Blue World

17. I'm Gonna Carry On

18. Who's Gonna Take The Blame

19. I Gotta Thing For You

20. My Baby's Love

21. Loving You

22. Two Feet From Happiness

23. Let Somebody Love Me

Disc 3

1. Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)

2. It's Summer

3. The Love You Save

4. I Found That Girl

5. The End Of Our Road

6. Me & My Lonely Room

7. Just Another Morning

8. Arma' Geden

9. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours

10. I'm More Than Happy (I'm Satisfied)

11. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours [Alternate Mix]

12. War

13. He Who Picks A Rose

14. It's A Shame

15. Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music

16. Do You See My Love (For You Growing)

17. Groove & Move

18. The Day Will Come Between Sunday And Monday

19. My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)

20. Everybody's Got The Right To Love

21. But I Love You More

23. I Like Your Style

Disc 4

1. (I Know) I'm Losing You

2. When Joanie Smiles

3. Stay A Little Longer

4. We Should Never Be Lonely My Love

5. How You Gonna Keep It (After You Get It)

6. This Time Last Summer

10. Can't It Wait Until Tomorrow

11. Young, Gifted & Black

12. Peace Of Mind

13. Still Water (Love)

14. Still Water (Peace)

15. Stone Soul Booster

16. Sandy

17. I'll Be There

18. One More Chance

19. Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite The World)

20. Hum Along & Dance

21. As Long As I've Got You

22. One Little Teardrop

Disc 5

1. The Tears Of A Clown

2. Promise Me

4. Heaven Help Us All

5. I Gotta Have A Song

6. You Keep Me Hangin' On

7. Make Me A Potion

8. It's A Lonesome Road

9. Yesterday's Love Is Over

12. Stoned Love

13. Shine On Me

15. If I Were Your Woman

16. The Tracks Of My Tears

17. Marionette

18. After All

19. River Deep, Mountain High

20. Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music

21. Coming Apart

22. Let The Music Play

Disc 6

1. Stop The War Now

2. God Bless Whoever Sent You

3. Just To Keep You Satisfied

4. Desperate Young Man

5. Born To Wander

6. Here Comes The Night

9. Carry Your Own Load

10. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

11. Christmas Won't Be The Same This Year

12. Way Back Home

13. Jackson!

14. Remember Me

15. How About You

16. We'll Have It Made

17. My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)

18. Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)

19. I Wish I Were Your Mirror

20. Maria (You Were The Only One)

21. Living In A World I Created For Myself

23. Can't Wait To See You

24. It's Private Tonight

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Oldies but sure goodies Shel1965

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