b. Laten John Adams, 5th January 1932, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
d. 14th September 1998, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Johnny Adams was remembered fondly as 'The Tan Canary' (a nickname relating to the versatility of his voice) and was a former member of several gospel groups.
He is, probably, best remembered for his R&B hits 'Release Me' and 'Reconsider Me', both released in the Sixties.
Born in New Orleans, Johnny was one of ten children, moving into the music arena on leaving school.
He began singing Gospel music, performing with the Soul Revivers and the Consolators.
i won't cry - 1959 / life is just a struggle - 1961
Johnny's first secular recordings appeared in 1959 on Joe Ruffino's Ric Records.
One of these singles, 'I Won't Cry', was produced by Dr John, who went under the name of Mac Rebennack at the time.
Following further singles for Ric, Johnny had a minor R & B success with 'A Losing Battle', a ballad co-written by Dr. John (which reached number 27 on the Billboard R&B chart).
When Joe Ruffino passed away in 1963, Johnny left the label, he signed for several imprints, including Eddie Bo's Gone Records, Modern Records, and the Watch label (which released the song 'Release Me').
In 1968 he joined Shelby Singleton's SSS International outlet and enjoyed a hit the following year with 'Reconsider Me', which reached number 8 on the R&B chart and number 28 on the pop chart in 1969.
Two singles followed, 'I Can't Be All Bad' and a reissue of 'I Won't Cry'.
heart and soul - 1969 / i won't cry - 1971 / christmas in new orleans - 1975 / stand by me - 1976
The album 'Heart And Soul' followed the same year.
Johnny left the SSS International imprint in 1971, and signed with Atlantic Records in the early 70's, later relocating to the Ariola imprint.
after all the good is gone - 1978 / from the heart - 1984 / after dark - 1985 / room with a view of the blues - 1988
At Ariola he remade the Conway Twitty hit 'After All The Good Is Gone', which gave him a 1978 U.S. R&B chart entry.
Johnny also began performing regularly at Dorothy's Medallion Lounge in New Orleans.
He has since recorded for various labels, including, notably, Rounder Records in 1983, recording nine albums with the producer Scott Billington.
From 1989 up until his passing, Johnny recorded a number of albums, including tributes to the songwriters Percy Mayfield and Doc Pomus.
walking on a tightrope - 1989 / the real me - 1991 / good morning heartache - 1993 / the verdict - 1995
Releases included 'Room With A View Of The Blues' (in 1988), 'Walking On A Tightrope' (in 1989), and 'The Real Me' (in 1991).
one foot in the blues - 1996 / man of my word - 1998
Throughout his career, Johnny collaborated with many artists including The Soul Revivers, Lonnie Smith, Bessie Griffin, The Consolators, Ruth Brown, Aaron Neville, Harry Connick, Jr., David Torkanowsky, Dr. John and Duke Robillard.
Johnny Adams died on 14th September 1998 from prostate cancer in Baton Rouge at the age of 66.
Heart And Soul (SSS International Records 1969)
I Won't Cry (Ric Records 1971)
Christmas In New Orleans With Johnny Adams (Ace Records 1988)
Stand By Me (Atlantic Records 1976)
After All The Good Is Gone (Ariola Records 1978)
From The Heart (Rounder Records 1984)
After Dark (Rounder Records 1986)
Walking On A Tightrope: The Songs Of Percy Mayfield (Rounder Records 1989)
Johnny Adams Sings Doc Pomus: The Real Me (Rounder Records 1991)
Good Morning Heartache (Rounder Records 1993)
The Verdict (Rounder Records 1995)
One Foot In The Blues (Rounder Records 1997)
Man Of My Word (Rounder Records 1998)