Today’s Two’Fer Tuesday post celebrates the music of Johnny Rivers. I was introduced to Johnny Rivers music by an older cousin when I was around fifteen years old and I have been a fan every since. The thing that I find most amazing about his music is that he managed to make the leap from early 60’s rocker (Secret Agent Man, Maybellene, Memphis, Midnight Special, etc.) to late 1960s hippy ballad singer (Poor Side of Town, Summer Rain, Look to Your Soul, Going Back to Big Sur, etc.). I can’t think of any singer that made that transition as successfully. Let’s listen to a cut from each of these phases of Johnny’s career.
First up is a great 1966 performance by Johnny on the Hollywood Palace Tv variety show. Yes…..that is Judy Garland introducing Johnny’s performance.
Our second song is Summer Rain, which is a cut off of Johnny’s 1968 album Realization. On this album Johnny started to move his sound to a more contemporary, let’s say introspective, ballad sound that was just right for the late 1960s. The album made it into the top five and Summer Rain made it up to #14 on the singles chart. This is really good stuff that I still listen to today……
There is a lot more to Johnny’s career, so be looking for another post on him soon. Let me know if you appreciate Johnny’s music as much as I do.