Jimmy Johnson Bio, Wiki
Jimmy Johnson was born on February 4th, 1943 and died on September 5th, 2019 at the age of 76. He was an American session guitarist and record producer. He was a member of The Swampers and co-founder of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.
Jimmy Johnson Background
Jimmy Johnson grew up in the South in the 1950s. He was drawn to the blooming sounds of rock, R&B and the electric blues. “I guess you’d say my inspiration was Chuck Berry,” he said in an interview earlier 2019. “My parents always tried to get me to play country music and I just didn’t like it that much.”
Jimmy Johnson Guitarist
Johnson began to study the guitar-playing of artists like Berry, Jimmy Reed and Bo Diddley. After gigging in the Northwest Alabama area as a teenager.
Johnson was a member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (a.k.a. “the Swampers”) and was attached to FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in the 1960s. The Swampers foundational R&B-based playing could be heard on hundreds of records, including iconic hits by Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Wilson Pickett and Lynyrd Skynyrd
In 1969, with the backing of Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler, Johnson became a co-founder of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, along with the drummer Roger Hawkins, the bassist David Hood, and the keyboardist Barry Beckett. The studio was originally located at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield and later moved to 1000 Alabama Avenue, also in Sheffield. Johnson performed with Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin. He also engineered three tracks on the Rolling Stones’ album Sticky Fingers.
In his later years, Johnson remained active in the Shoals’ music community, producing and engineering records at his own Swamper Sound Studio and serving as a member of the board for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Johnson enjoyed a resurgence in the interest of the area after playing a large role in the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals, which told the story of FAME and the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.
Johnson explained the origin of the name of his band in a 2014 interview saying: “The name was based on all the water around here, the Tennessee River, you know that kind of thing – and it has inspired a lot of our music.”
Jimmy Johnson Family
It is not clear whether Johnson was married at the time of his death. His son, Jay Johnson also a guitarist confirmed his death in a Facebook post.
Jimmy Johnson Death & Cause
Jimmy Johnson died on September 5th, 2019 at the age of 76. His death was confirmed by his son Jay Johnson, who did not reveal a cause of death. “He is gone,” his son wrote on Facebook. “Playing music with the angels now.”
“The mighty Jimmy Johnson has passed,” Jason Isbell, who grew up in the Shoals area, said on Twitter. “A lot of my favorite music wouldn’t exist without him.”
The mighty Jimmy Johnson has passed. A lot of my favorite music wouldn’t exist without him, and he was always kind to me. Hard times for the folks back home. https://t.co/8sBEyL4UWo
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) September 5, 2019
Jimmy Johnson, the revered Muscle Shoals guitarist who worked with Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Wilson Pickett and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among hundreds of others, has died at 76 https://t.co/bTLijGt470 pic.twitter.com/2CFxpPJmVU
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) September 5, 2019