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Author Topic: Larry Johnson dead?  (Read 2364 times)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Larry Johnson dead?
« on: February 02, 2017, 07:56:50 AM »
I've just gotten news that Larry Johnson died over the summer. I'm having a bit of difficulty believing this since there was no notice in the Times. Anybody know anything?
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline harry

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 08:24:30 AM »
He died in a nursing home (summer 2016) according to the wirz site.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 10:36:18 AM »
I find it astounding that no notice appeared in the Times. I won't admit to being dead until I see it in the Times. But really Larry was a major figure, if briefly, in the rural Blues revival,
put out at least one masterpiece record, and deserves recognition.
Did anyone happen to come across or remember a documentary portrait made about him in the mid seventies? It aired on PBS here in NY.
 
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Pan

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 10:44:22 AM »
The source of the news might be his one time playing partner's Brian Kramer's facebook page, which says that he only yesterday heard about Larry having died in a nursing home in the summer.
No details were given, so I'm clinging to a hope that this proves to be some kind of misunderstanding...  :(

Pan

Offline Stuart

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 03:33:12 PM »
It's sad news, if true. Like Phil says, Larry never received the recognition he deserved. But I for one recognized his talents and never stopped listening to his music.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 10:58:27 PM »
Pete Lowry reported this yesterday

Just heard that Larry Johnson, a former student of Gary Davis (a rare black one!), passed away the middle of last year at a Senior's residence of apparent kidney failure. He was born in 1938 in GA... not fair! RIP

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2017, 08:26:54 AM »
I believe Pete Lowery heard this from Brian Kramer the source for the RBF post. Only problem is that extensive record searching online came up with no death certificate or record of him having died. So if Brian Kramer is reading this I'd like to know what nursing home he was in so I can confirm this absolutely and let the NY times know. He deserves an Obit in the paper of record. Pass this on if you know him or anybody else who might have info.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Stuart

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2017, 08:43:02 AM »
Phil:

You can e-mail Brian at the address at the lower right-hand corner of this page:

http://www.kramerblues.com/

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 06:56:03 AM »
I also heard the news via Brian Kramer on Facebook.

Larry's "Fast & Funky" LP has long been one of my favourite records. Sadly he never matched the lovely picking on other records before or after that one.

I booked him to play here a long time ago (I guess around 25 years - I'm not good at remembering dates), by which time he was playing an electric guitar. Despite fairly substantial strings for an electric, he managed to break the bottom E! When Roger Hubbard turned up to hear him, Larry immediately asked if he'd brought a guitar with him. Being of a modest nature, Roger pointed out that he had not, upon which Larry commented "Shame on you!" Apparently he thought Roger one of the few white exponents of country blues that could get it right.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 07:59:30 AM »
Hi all, I've been in touch with Brian Kramer and with Peter Keepnews at the Times, and put them in touch with each other. Hopefully this will get worked out soon.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Johnm

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 08:31:08 AM »
Apparently he thought Roger one of the few white exponents of country blues that could get it right.

Did Larry say explicitly that Roger was "one of the few white exponents of country blues that could get it right", or is this supposition on your part, Parlor Picker?  He may just have liked Roger's playing and singing and wanted to hear him and play with him without race even being a consideration.

All best,
Johnm

Offline Stuart

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2017, 08:58:31 AM »
Thanks for doing the legwork, Phil. Larry needs to be remembered in the Times. And if more people are made aware of the man and his music--even after his passing--so much the better.

Larry's "Fast & Funky" LP has long been one of my favourite records. Sadly he never matched the lovely picking on other records before or after that one.

While I'd choose "Fast & Funky" if I had to choose only one of Larry's albums to listen to, I definitely would not give short shrift to any of the others, as I enjoy them all. I was listening to "Presenting the Country Blues" the other day after I had heard the sad news of Larry's death and was reminded of how soulful a singer Larry was. It's not all about guitar.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 09:58:23 AM »
I have great memories of seeing Larry at Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto in 1971. I'd never heard or seen anyone play like that before. It was astounding.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk


Offline Brian Kramer Blues

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2017, 01:23:20 AM »
Unfortunately it is true...
My sources were legit but due to negligence in handling the information in a timely fashion, this went unreported for 6 months.
I got the info out there as soon as I'd verified...
Was difficult to verify but finally I uncovered that there is an updated record in the VA cemetery database that confirms (still only searching Larry as a Bluesman shows nothing, but as a Navy vet...)
Here is the info I have (I have some more specifics I won't share here) that was sent into the Times via Mr O'muck's source and I have also contributed an obit/appreciation piece I wrote for the upcoming Living Blues Magazine.

Larry Johnson; May 15th 1938 ? August 6th 2016
Bluesman Larry Alonzo Johnson, from Riceville Georgia, checked himself into a nursing home in Harlem, June of 2016.
A friend was provided as a contact in case of emergency and notified of Larry?s passing in August.
She then notified another friend of Larry's, who was so devastated by the news, he couldn't come to tell anyone for six months,
then finally revealing to another source who knew I had a close relationship with him.
Cause of death is not specified but Larry was 78 years old, his health deteriorating the last few years.
He did have a son from a prior marriage but their relationship was long estranged.
Mr. Johnson is now laid to rest at the Calverton National Cemetery for Veterans, NY

Larry Johnson was inducted into the New York Blues Hall Of Fame, May 2015
(source Brian Kramer, longtime friend and music collaborator)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 01:33:35 AM by Brian Kramer Blues »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Larry Johnson dead?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2017, 09:13:58 AM »
Thank you, Brian.

 


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