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Wallace Johnson

Vocalist Wallace Johnson last sang around New Orleans clubs in the late '70s, but it wasn't until the mid-'90s that his singing has been recorded and made available to a larger public outside of New Orleans, thanks to New Orleans-based producer Allen Toussaint. Best described as a soul-blues singer, Johnson recorded a 1996 album, Whoever's Thrilling You, that was the debut for Toussaint's NYNO (New York/New Orleans) label.

Born on a plantation in 1937, Johnson got married and joined the Army at age 17. He first performed in public during his term in the Army in the mid-'50s, and after singing around Thibodaux, Louisiana in the early '60s, he recorded four singles for AFO Records in 1962, a label Harold Battiste, Toussaint, Dr. John and other New Orleans-based musicians founded. With a growing family and a wife, Johnson reached a crossroads of sorts, and decided to put his singing career on the back burner for a number of years (though he did record eight more singles between 1965 and 1972 at Toussaint's home studios).

Between 1972 and 1992, Johnson put show business aside, working as a longshoreman and running a music club, Mr. J's, in Thibodaux for a number of years. After being urged to go back on stage and sing by both his fiancée and his bassist Alonzo Johnson (Rockin' Dopsie), he sang in public once again in 1993 at the New Orleans French Quarter Festival. Johnson began making regular appearances in Crescent City clubs and in late 1995, returned to Toussaint's studios to record his first full-length album. Toussaint wrote nine of the album's twelve songs specifically with Johnson in mind. On the album, Johnson sings songs with a wide variety of tempos. His gospel-influenced, soul-drenched vocals are unique, powerful and moving. ~ Richard Skelly
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Get Low Down! The Soul Of New Orleans '65 - '67

Disc 1

1. Ride Your Pony

2. If You Love Her

4. Wait For Me Baby

5. Bad Luck

8. Gossip, Gossip

13. Omar Khayyam

14. Don't Set Me Back

16. Without A Word

18. Baby Do Little

20. If You Leave Me

22. Don't Pity Me

24. Here Comes The Hurt Again

Disc 2

1. Hurry Back To Me

4. In My Corner

6. Beverly

7. Nearer To You

9. Tomorrow

10. Holy Cow

13. You Got Me

14. Blues, Tears And Sorrows

15. Sinner Girl

17. I Don't Need No One

18. Smooth Operator

20. Until The End

21. How To Pick A Winner

25. Hot Tamales - Part 2

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