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Syl Johnson

A rollicking vocalist and gifted harmonica player, Syl Johnson has forged a career in both blues and soul. The brother of bassist Mac Thompson and guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Johnson, Syl Johnson sang and played with blues artists Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, and Junior Wells in the '50s before recording with Jimmy Reed for Vee-Jay in 1959. He made his solo debut that same year with Federal. Johnson toured with Howlin' Wolf from late 1959 until 1962, when Willie Mitchell signed him to Hi Records. Johnson recorded for both Twilight and Hi in the late '60s and early '70s, clicking with the dance/novelty cut "Come on Sock It to Me" and crackling message track "Is It Because I'm Black?" He had his biggest hit with "Take Me to the River" in 1975, reaching number seven on the R&B charts. Johnson later recorded for Shama and Boardwalk. He reappeared on a collaboration with his brother Jimmy in the summer of 2002, humorously titled Two Johnsons Are Better Than One. ~ Ron Wynn
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Complete Twinight Singles

1. Come On Sock It to Me

2. Try Me (1967)

3. Different Strokes

4. Sorry 'Bout Dat!

5. Ode to Soul Man

6. I'll Take Those Skinny Legs

7. I Feel an Urge

8. Try Me (1968)

9. Send Me Some Lovin'

10. Dresses Too Short

11. I Can Take Care of Business

12. Take Me Back

13. I Can Take Care of Homework

14. Don't Give It Away

15. Going to the Shack

16. Is It Because I'm Black

17. Let Them Hang High

18. Concrete Reservation

19. Together Forever

20. One Way Ticket to Nowhere

21. Kiss By Kiss

22. Thank You Baby

23. We Do It Together

24. Get Ready

25. Same Kind of Thing

26. Annie Got Hot Pants Power

27. Annie Got Hot Pants Power (Instrumental)

28. Everybody Needs Love

29. That's Why

x

Track List: Complete Mythology

Disc 1

1. I've Got Love

2. Lonely Man

3. I Need Love

4. I've Got To Find My Baby

5. (She's So Fine) I Just Gotta Make Her Mine

6. Little Sally Walker

7. I Wanna Know

8. Well Oh Well

9. Please Please Please

10. I'm Looking For My Baby

11. She's All Right

12. I Know

13. A Half Love

14. I've Been Talked About

15. This Heart Of Mine

Disc 2

1. Falling In Love Again

2. Straight Love, No Chaser

3. Surrounded

4. Try Me (45 Version)

5. Half A Love

6. The Love I Found In You

7. Things Ain't Right

8. Come On Sock It To Me

9. Different Strokes

10. Sorry 'Bout Dat

11. Ode To Soul Man

12. I'll Take Those Skinny Legs

13. Send Me Some Lovin'

14. Soul Drippin'

15. Fox Hunting On The Weekend

16. Try Me

17. I Feel An Urge

18. Love Condition

Disc 3

1. My Funky Band

2. Sockin' Soul Power

3. Double Whammy (Abaccadaba)

4. Dresses Too Short

5. I Can Take Care Of Business

6. Same Kind Of Thing

7. I've Got The Real Thing

8. Take Me Back

9. I Can Take Care Of Homework

10. Let Them Hang High

11. Don't Give It Away

12. Going To The Shack

13. Is It Because I'm Black

14. Concrete Reservation

15. Together Forever

16. Come Together

17. Black Balloons

18. Walk A Mile In My Shoes

19. I'm Talkin' Bout Freedom

20. Right On

21. Everybody Needs Love

Disc 4

1. One Way Ticket To Nowhere

2. Kiss By Kiss

3. Thank You Baby

4. We Do It Together

5. Try My Love

6. That's Why

7. Get Ready

8. The Way You Do The Things You Do

9. Annie Got Hot Pants Power

10. Wouldn't Change My Lady

11. All I Need Is Someone Like You

12. Let's Start All Over Again

13. Hot Pants Lady

14. Wiggle In Your Hips

15. Your Love Is Good For Me

16. Trying To Get To You

17. Soul Strokes

18. Annie Got Hot Pants Power (Instrumental)

19. Soul Heaven

x

Track List: Talkin' About Chicago

1. Come On With It

2. Cheryl

3. Sweet Dynamite!

4. Talkin' Bout Chicago

5. Diff'rent Strokes (B.E.T.)

6. I'm Back Into You

7. Different Kind Of Man

8. Surrounded

9. Caribbean Beach

10. Get Free - Call Me

11. Trade Secret

12. Finger Lickin' Good

13. All Night Long

14. Woo-Wee!

x

Track List: Bridge To A Legacy

1. Who's Still In Love

2. I Been Missin' U

3. Half A Love

4. Unconditional Llove

5. Midnight Woman

6. Piece Of The Rock

7. I Don't Know Why

8. Let's Get It On Again

9. They Can't See Your Good Side

10. Sexy Wayz

x

Track List: Back In The Game

1. Back In The Game

2. I Like Your Style

3. I Can't Stop

4. Please Don't Give Up On Me

5. Keep On Loving Me

6. Take Me To The River

7. Ghetto Woman

8. Watch What You Do To Me

10. Driving Wheel

11. Any Way The Wind Blows

13. I Will Rise Again

14. All Of Your Love

x

Track List: Total Explosion

1. I Only Have Love

2. Bustin' Up Or Bustin' Out

3. Star Bright Star Lite

4. Watch What You Do To Me

5. Steppin' Out

6. Take Me To The River

7. It Ain't Easy

8. 'Bout To Make Me Leave Home

9. That's Just My Luck

x

Track List: Diamond In The Rough

1. Let Yourself Go

2. Don't Do It

3. I Want To Take You Home (To See Mama)

4. Could I Be Falling In Love

5. Stuck In Chicago

6. Diamond In The Rough

7. Keeping Down Confusion

8. Please, Don't Give Up On Me

9. Music To My Ears

10. I Hear The Love Chimes

x

Track List: Back For A Taste Of Your Love

1. Back For A Taste Of Your Love

2. I'm Yours

3. I Let A Good Girl Go

4. Anyway The Wind Blows

5. You Don't Know Me

6. Feelin' Frisky

7. We Did It

8. Wind, Blow Her Back My Way

9. I Hate I Walked Away

10. The Love You Left Behind

x

Track List: Is It Because I'm Black

1. Is It Because I'm Black

2. Come Together

3. Together Forever

4. Concrete Reservation

5. Black Balloons

6. Walk A Mile In My Shoes

7. I'm Talkin' Bout Freedom

8. Right On

Comments

Report as inappropriate
i mean write the song any way the wind blow
Report as inappropriate
did syl johnson make the song anyway the wind blow
Report as inappropriate
i thought it was a woman singing. love the song nonetheless
Report as inappropriate
Good music will never die. From RASHON IBN ALMUHYI. AS SALAAMU ALAIKUM. To all
Report as inappropriate
Real music never fades!
Report as inappropriate
on the SYL
Report as inappropriate
Wow,awesome vocals. I see from where his daughter,Syl e e n a Johnson get it!
Report as inappropriate
WELL WELL LET THEM HANG HIGH WAS THE S**T REAL COOL N I LOVE IT
Report as inappropriate
mwinegardner
Check out my story about Syl Johnson in the Oxford American's 2011 Music Issue.
Report as inappropriate
Syl is a hell of a singer who never reached the heights that he should have.Also great live performer

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