Gene O'connell Johnson,dob 01-30-43,pob Delmar Delaware
Delmar Del, was real country in 1943 every family member had a piano at home and at least one person in the home played well. Grand parents raised me, my grand mother played well even with me on her lap banging the keyboard. I began piano lessons at six, I was already playing by ear, which was fun, lessons were hell, and it cut my playtime.
I soon began playing at church, played woodwinds in high school, upon graduation, had Full music scholars at Delaware State College, choose marriage instead, big mistake.
I moved to Salisbury MD in 1962,played with various bands, the continentals which backed Billy Steward at Rose Dale beach on occasions.
My first jazz gig was at Johnnies and Sammie's in Salisbury as a duo with an old guy named Chris Pender,A great guitarist and vocalist from the area, I am very blessed to have had his guidance and friendship all these years, he always showed up at one of my gigs, when you needed a little boost, his presents would do that.
ST JAMES church is where I began playingB3 Hammond organ, thanks to REV.MAC for leaving the church open so I could practice when ever I wanted to which was every night, by then the greats had got my attention, EARL GRANT, JIMMY SMITH, JACK MC DUFF, JIMMY MC GRIFF, SHIRLEY SCOTT, though I was playing for three choirs plus my on little group, the greats had my attention so I learned their tunes.
In 1968 my marriage broke down, fell apart,over,done,I moved to East Orange,NJ
With my dad. My first gig was with Gus Young-drums, Gene Phipps-sax and I played organ, at the Douglas hotel in downtown Newark NJ "wow" big stuff for an old country boy like me.
There was this guy sitting at the same table every night, Gus introduced us, his name was Eddie Wright-Guitarist, we became friends formed group THE CONNECTIONS consisting of Eddie Wright-guitar, Eddie Gladden Drums, myself on organ, I was in good hands, my only problem was that these guys had worked with the greats and the greats were showing up at the gigs setting in, also Larry Young jr and Mickey Tucker, two of the best keyboard players in town setting in, What a humbling and enlighten experience I was being schooled and wasn't even aware. We played at the Living room and Playbill in EO, Robbie's lounge in Newark, Linda's in Irvington NJ,also clubs in Jersey city backing Etta Jones a couple times..
While in Newark I also had the pleasure of working with Jimmy Ponder-guitar one of the best, his group consisted of Billy Phipps-sax, Kenny Pollard-drums, myself-organ, backing Irene Reid-vocals, with this group played the Key club, Cadillac club Playbill, in Newark, In New York we played The club Baron.
While working with Jessie Morrison-sax played in New York at the Red Rooster, Hawaiian Kai, also T- bones club in Conn.
I attended Rutgers University Newark, NJ for 2yrs music theory, should have completed course, young @ dumb.
Driven out of NJ in 1978 thanks to discos and d.js work dried up, moved to Washington DC attended Tesst electronic school, got a real job at Verizon in 81,played at various clubs in Wash DC, Chucks bar & grill, Mr y's, Moores love & peace, Jackie Lees, Skyline Inn hotel.
Attended OMEGA RECORDING SCHOOL, passed engineering course in 2004,now have RECORDING STUDIO-JOHNSON'S SMOKE HOUSE, IN HYATTSVILLE, MD, still playing for private affairs, while trying to complete CD
I retired from Verizon in 03 now seeking gigs in Hotel chains.
TN 301-422-9448,CELL 301-655-0770