Thursday, April 30, 2009
Jango Song Of The Day-Johnnie & Joe
Song:Over The Mountain, Across The Sea
Album:Chess Rhythm & Roll
Over The Mountain, Across The Sea was a top ten pop hit in 1957 for Johnnie & Joe. The person behind this duo was J & S Records owner Zell Sanders. I've talked about her before as it relates to The Hearts and later The Jaynettes. Johnnie is Sanders' daughter Johnnielouise Richardson. Sanders' neighbour Rex Garvin was the main producer writer arranger behind J & S Records. He thought Joe Rivers had potential to be a great singer. Sanders thought something was missing so she brought her daughter in to provide harmony. If you watch the video clip, you'll notice that Johnnie can't sing. Their first single I'll Be Spinning was a hit in New York and got enough attention to interest Chess Records to provide national distribution. Over The Mountain, Across The Sea was the next release and hit #3 on the R & B charts and #8 on the pop charts. Rex Garvin wrote and produced the song and if you listen very carefully, he also sang on it. They had a couple of other minor hits but the problem was their subsequent songs were very derivative of Over The Mountain. Ace Records released a Johnnie & Joe comp in 2006 but this 4CD box set is a cornicopia of Chess R & B from the 50s so I recommend it. Johnnie Richardson went on to be a member of The Jaynettes (Sally Go Round The Roses) and Johnnie & Joe reunited for an album on Ambient Sound in 1982. Johnnie Richardson died of a stroke in 1988. Here's Johnnie & Joe performing Over The Mountain, Across The Sea in 1957.