Obituary: Johnny Adams
Tuesday 22 September 1998
Born in New Orleans in 1932, Adams began his singing career in a gospel group, the Soul Revivers, moving in the mid-1950s to Beside Griffin and her Soul Consolators. It was when an upstairs neighbour, songwriter Dorothy Labostrie, heard him singing "Precious Lord" in the bathtub and persuaded him to record a song of hers, "Oh Why", for the local Ric label, that he began to be recognised as a secular singer.
That first session was produced by an 18-year-old Mac Rebennack, later known as Dr John, and the song, retitled as "I Won't Cry", gave Adams a sizeable local hit.
Dr John was also involved, as co-writer, with Adams's 1962 R&B national hit, the slow ballad, "A Losing Battle", which was followed in 1968 by a slice of country soul in the Ray Charles manner, "Reconsider Me", for Shelby Singleton's SSS International label. There was talk of his signing for Berry Gordy Jnr's Motown label, and he made some disappointing albums for Atlantic, before signing with Rounder for a series of nine albums, including the superb One Foot in the Blues (1996), and what was to turn out to be his final collection, Man of My Word, released only last month.
In the latter years of his life, he achieved minor international acclaim, but it was the appreciation of his peers in the Crescent City - who dubbed him the "tan canary" - which has assured him a place in the history of modern New Orleans music.
Laten John Adams, singer: born New Orleans 5 January 1932; married; died Baton Rouge, Louisiana 14 September 1998.
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
- 4 Floyd Mayweather's mouthguard costs $25,000 - enough to fly to Las Vegas and back 18 times
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Daredevil, Netflix, TV review: Marvel wins first fight in bid for television domination with Charlie Cox's superhero vigilante
Grace Dent on TV: Peter Kay's Car Share made me genuinely LOL
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns