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 Allen Johnson

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Allen Johnson Famous memorial

Birth
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death
28 Sep 1995 (aged 55)
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot
Division 3, Section R, Lot 314
Memorial ID
16965501 View Source

Musician. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Johnson was a baritone singer with the rhythm and blues musical group, The Marcels. They are best remembered for their 1961 hit single, "Blue Moon." The song sold well over a million copies, hit number one on the UK singles charts, and was named one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

They were also one of the first groups to turn doo-wop into rock and roll. They are also notable for their performances at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York, Radio City Music Hall, the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C., Madison Square Garden, and for their association with musicians like Chuck Berry, Jackie Wilson, the Drifters, Bo Diddley, and Smokey Robinson. Formed in 1959, the group also included lead singer Cornelius Harp, bass player Fred Johnson (Allen's brother), tenor Gene J. Bricker, Ron Mundy, and Richard Knauss. In 1961, Bricker and Knauss left the group and were replaced by Allen Johnson (who had just been discharged from the army), and Fred Maddox.

A year after that Allen Johnson and Cornelius Harp left and were replaced with William Herndon and Richard Harris. The group disbanded not to long after that, but continued on through the years with brief reunions or former band members creating similar bands, notably the Walt Maddox and Fred Johnson versions. Following the group's demise, Johnson returned to army life and served until 1982, when he retired with the rank of staff sergeant. He also worked as a maintenance man at the University of Pittsburgh. Allen Johnson passed away from cancer on September 28, 1995. The Marcels were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. Other recordings by The Marcels include, 'Melancholy Baby,' 'Heartaches,' 'You Gotta Be Sincere', and 'Goodbye To Love.'

Musician. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Johnson was a baritone singer with the rhythm and blues musical group, The Marcels. They are best remembered for their 1961 hit single, "Blue Moon." The song sold well over a million copies, hit number one on the UK singles charts, and was named one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

They were also one of the first groups to turn doo-wop into rock and roll. They are also notable for their performances at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York, Radio City Music Hall, the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C., Madison Square Garden, and for their association with musicians like Chuck Berry, Jackie Wilson, the Drifters, Bo Diddley, and Smokey Robinson. Formed in 1959, the group also included lead singer Cornelius Harp, bass player Fred Johnson (Allen's brother), tenor Gene J. Bricker, Ron Mundy, and Richard Knauss. In 1961, Bricker and Knauss left the group and were replaced by Allen Johnson (who had just been discharged from the army), and Fred Maddox.

A year after that Allen Johnson and Cornelius Harp left and were replaced with William Herndon and Richard Harris. The group disbanded not to long after that, but continued on through the years with brief reunions or former band members creating similar bands, notably the Walt Maddox and Fred Johnson versions. Following the group's demise, Johnson returned to army life and served until 1982, when he retired with the rank of staff sergeant. He also worked as a maintenance man at the University of Pittsburgh. Allen Johnson passed away from cancer on September 28, 1995. The Marcels were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. Other recordings by The Marcels include, 'Melancholy Baby,' 'Heartaches,' 'You Gotta Be Sincere', and 'Goodbye To Love.'

Bio by: Kris 'Peterborough K' Peterson

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