I wrote my first song at 12 years of age, Some say it sounded like a Hank Williams song but at that time Hank Williams hadn't appeared yet. I continued to write songs all through my years in the Military and was always honeing the Craft of song-writing. Since the days of childhood when I got my first Silvertone Guitar, from selling a Steer I had raised, to the present, a Guitar has always been within my reach.
Born in Flint Michigan and raised on a farm near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota I left home for the most part at about 15 years, and worked the Packing Houses of West Fargo, North Dakota (Being too young I had to lie my age but these were War years and no one pushed the age thing,because help was hard to find) I worked the farms of North Dakota in the Summer and the Packing houses in the Winter, until 1950 when I joined the service and spent the next 4 years in Alabama and England where I learned guitar chords and know how from the Southern boys. They called me The Minnesota Hillbilly, and I guess they were right because I still am. It was in 1951 I married Flo, my High School Sweetheart and She's been by my side even until this day We have two Children, Valerie and Mitchell. 4 Grandchildren and 1 Great grandchild
Upon leaving the Service in 1954 and farming for a year I found a Carpenter Job in Minneapolis and in May of 1955 We moved Lock Stock and Barrell to the Big City and have made our home here ever since.
By the summer of 1956 I had my first play for pay job and in the fall I got laid off from my Carpenter Job so we moved to International Falls and got a playing job at the American Legion and some bars there and it wasn't long till we were playing on Radio Station CFOB, Ft. Francis, Ontario. And even tried my hand as a Lumberjack during the winter of 1955 and 1956..
We left International Falls and moved back to the Cities and played various bars and Honky-Tonks and in 1957 We were invited to perform at The Renfro Valley Barn Dance in Renfro Valley, Kentucky where there were such notables performing and in the audience, as Grandpa Jones and Red Foley.
In late 1958 I recorded my first record on The North Star Label and it was released on both 78 and 45 RPM records, and about that time I met Bud Auge (who was writing songs for Hank Thompson, Mel Tillis and others) and founded HEP Records and we went on to record people like Johnny Western, Rex Allen, Myself and others, and also.about that time I was hanging around Nashville and making contacts with People on Music Row and was recording at Columbia Studios,and from then until the mid 70s I did a lot of recording in Nashville, using some of the biggest names in Nashville on my recordings.
Then in 1963 there was a rash of plane and car crashes that killed Patsy Cline, Johhny Horton , Hawkshaw Hawkins and others, That's when Bud Auge and I wrote a tribute song to those we lost, calling it "There's A Grand Ol' Opry Show Playing Somewhere" and I recorded and released it on HEP Records and it became an Instant Hit and Capitol Records bought the rights to it and released it in 1964 and it eventually was included in The World Of Country Music album along with artists like Glen Campbell, Buck Owens and 21 others.
In the Mid 60s I worked the road traveling extensively and was the opening Act at the Minneapolis Auditorium for such Stars as Bill Anderson, Faron Young, Geroge Hamilton The Fourth, and others. And worked a show with Merle Hagard in 1966.
I continued to write Songs with Bud Auge and at that time Mel Tillis Recorded Buds song "The Violet And a Rose" and went to # 1 in the charts. and Dave Dudely hit with "Six Days On The Road" and we Co-Wrote "Taxi-Cab Driver" with Dave Dudley and it was included in His "Six Days on The Road" albums. About that time Rex Allen recorded our Song "The Voice"
In 1967 I signed an Exclusive Writers Contract with Tree International (Now Sony) and recorded 4 songs for Dial Records of Nashville, .
Bud died in 1982 and I have never stopped performing and then in 1998 I started recording with John Voit and we played "The Midwest Country Show" in Sandstone, Minnesota, and was aired on National TV on the RFD channel and that was a big turning point in my career, I now had fans nationwide. and my song, "Sunday Will Come Again" became a Hit.
I have at recorded 11 albums 9 are of self-written songs containing well over 100 of my original compositions.
I have been Music Co-ordinatior for The Minnesota Good Sam Club for the last 12 years and have met so many great people, It is and will remain one of the highlites of my career.
At present I have my first booking in Branson, Two weeks in June at the "Branson Star Theater" I am really looking forward to thiis,
come and see me if you can,
All I can say is," You, Every One of You" have made it a very interesting journey. Thank You Very Much, Red
RED JOHNSON HAS BEEN WRITING AND PERFORMING FOR MANY YEARS
AND HAS PLAYED CLUBS THRUGH OUT THE UPPER MIDWEST.
RED IS A SINGER SONG-WRITER ALWAYS KEEPING AN EYE FOR A
FRESH APPROACH TO A SONG, HIS SONGS ARE KNOWN AS "SONGS WITH
SUBSTANCE" THEY WILL BRING BACK A MEMORY FOR YOU AND HOPEFULLY A GOOD ONE.
THE SONGS IN THIS ALBUM ARE A GREAT CROSS-SECTION OF THE
SONGS RED JOHNSON WRITES. THEY RANGE FROM THE FATS DOMINO SOUNDING "YOU MADE ME OVER-OVER NIGHT" TO THE TENDER "LET IT BE YOU" FOLLOWED BY A TEX-MEX "REYNOSA-OLD MEXICO" AND IF YOU WANT TO TELL YOUR LOVED ONE YOUR TRUE FEELINGS, PLAY "THANKS DARLING" FOR THEM. YOU'LL BE WITH A COWBOY IN
NEW YORK CITY AS HE DATES A CITY GIRL IN "BIG SKY COUNTRY"
AND IN A WEDDING CHAPEL TO "THIS MARRIAGE" WHICH IS OFTEN USED AS THE WEDDING VOWS IN CEREMONYS, CAJUN ACCORDIAN" WILL TAKE YOU TO THE BAYOU'S AND YOU'LL BE DANCING TO THE CAJUN BEAT, "WHEN YOU SAY TEXAS" IS TOLD BY A TRANSPLANTED YANKEE, BETTER KNOWN AS A WINTER TEXAN. THIS CD IS VARIETY COUNTRY, NO TWO SONGS SOUND THE SAME.