Craig Allen says: ‘Meet Brothers Johnson’
Check out this"funky" R& B band from the 1970s..."Strawberry Letter #23" ruled the Top-40 AM Radio airwaves! And that's just a part of their music story!
And, yes, the "Brothers Johnson" were, and are, brothers!
Guitarist and singer George Lightnin' Licks" Johnson and his brother bassist and singer Louis "Thunder Thumbs" Johnson formed "Johnson Three Plus One" with their older brother Tommy, and cousin Alex Weir, while going to school in Los Angeles.
Turning pro, the band backed Bobby Womack, and the Supremes on tour. George and Louis joined Billy Preston's band, and wrote music for him, before leaving in 1973. After singing a cover version of the Beatles "Hey Jude" for a documentary, the brothers were hired by Quincy Jones.
After Jones included several Brothers Johnson-penned songs on his album, Quincy Jones backed the Brothers on a tour of Japan, and produced their debut album: "Look Out For #1," which was released in March 1976.
"I'll Be Good To You" went to #3 on the Hot 100 (pop) charts. It rose to #1 on the R&B chart (1976).
Above, the Brothers performing LIVE...
Their "Right On Time" album hit record store shelves in May 1977...
"Strawberry Letter 23" went to #5 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the R&B chart (1977).
Above, "Strawberry Letter 23" LIVE.
The 1978 followup album, "Blam!!" did not give us any Top-40 hits!
The start of the new decade was a little kinder to the Brothers Johnson...as the "Light Up The Night" album gave us...
"Stomp" (#8/1980). Again, a #1 hit on the R&B chart.
Sadly, "Stomp" would be the last Top-40 hit for the Brothers Johnson.
The Brothers Johnson self-produced their 1981 album "Winners."
"Blast!! The Latest And Greatest," a compilation album came out in 1982.
1982 also brought the split of the band, as George and Louis left to pursue solo projects.
1984 brought a brief "reunion," resulting in the studio album "Out Of Control."
The last Brothers Johnson album, "Kickin'" came out in 1988.
The band reunited in 2002, for a U.S. tour, which was well-received, and resulted in a Live CD-DVD combination, under the title: "Strawberry Letter 23: LIVE"
The Brothers Johnson remain active...although separately.
George and Louis appear with their own bands, and as part of their own solo projects.