John Myers has been a witness to the evolution of American popular music. The soul baritone was in show business before rock 'n roll, back during the Truman administration, when he and his brothers sang in a vocal harmony group called the Echoes and collected pocket change in nightclubs and house parties of segregated East Knoxville. Later known as the Five Pennies, they moved for a time to New Jersey and sang backup for some of Savoy's R&B immortals, and flirted with
big-time success on their own, occasionally glimpsed on national television or heard on big-city radio stations. A musical shift and a few costume changes later found John in Detroit, under contract with Motown. With a new band, under a hipper new monicker, the Hearts of Stone, he was recording soul standards at the legendary studio known as Hitsville USA.
Though he stayed busy as a respected session man, gold-record success eluded John, but so did the miserable fates of many of the harder-living soul stars he shared stages with. We're grateful John survived, and that, somehow, as if it were a natural thing to do, he made his way back to his home town of Knoxville to serve as a rare local representative of Motown's
glory days, and to make another record or two. His rich voice carries the experience of generations.
-Jack Neely, Knoxville Journalist