Friday, October 15, 2010

In Memory of General Johnson May 23, 1943 - October 14, 2010 of the Showmen and the Chairmen of the Board

The Showmen originated in Norfolk, Va under the name of the Humdingers led by General Norman Johnson ( his given name ). The group  went  to New Orleans  in May 1961 and  Allen Toussaint produced their first hit and one of the all-time great Rock and Roll tunes, "It Will Stand", a song that became an anthem not only for rock and roll, but also for  Carolina Beach Music. 

The following year, April 1962 , the Showmen recorded "39-21-40 Shape",  a huge success  especially on Carolina beach jukeboxes. "39-21-40 Shape", or 39-21-46 if you prefer, has one of the most memorable guitar intros in all of rock and roll. 

Here are 3 songs from the New Orleans Sessions of 1961 and 1962  :
The Wrong Girl 
It Will Stand 
39-21-40 Shape 

"The Wrong Girl " take 5 Minit 45-643 recorded in New Orleans at Cosimo Studios 521 Governor Nicholls Street May 19, 1961 with Allen Toussaint on piano and organ . Lesser known but one of my favorites

' It Will Stand " Minit 45-632 take 9 -recorded in New Orleans at Cosimo Studios 521 Governor Nicholls Street May 18, 1961  Allen Toussaint 
Original release on the MINIT Label. with Country Fool as the a side . Written by lead singer  General Norman Johnson. Reached #61 on the Billboard Pop Chart 1961, and when rereleased on the Imperial label in 1964 it recharted at #80. 

39-21-40 Shape 

Minit 45-682 take 12 -Recorded April 10, 1962 in New Orleans at Cosimo Studios 521 Governor Nicholls Street. Allen Toussaint 
Whether you know this tune by the title "39-21-40 Shape" or the title that was actually placed on the 45 rpm record when it was released, "39-21-46", this is a Carolina Beach Music classic of the first order. 
And as to the line " you got me going ape ity ape over you " asked about the figure General said " Don't know about the measurements but it sure rhymes with ape ity ape " He will be missed 
Great Voice , a terrific talent and a giant of Beach Music May 23, 1943 - October 14, 2010

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