Johnny Tillotson Poster


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Overview (1)

Date of Birth 20 April 1939Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Johnny Tillotson's artistic ability and energetic personality consistently delight audiences of all age groups. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but at nine years old he was given the responsibility to take care of his grandmother in Palatka, Florida, some 50 miles away. He traveled back to Jacksonville to be with his parents each summer. It was at this early age that he decided to be a singer and, with the encouragement of his mother and grandmother, began to perform at local functions and on the radio. By the time he entered Palatka Sr. High School he had quite a reputation as a talented singer throughout the state of Florida.

His first television appearance was as a guest on the "Toby Dowdy Show". His performance produced a steady stream of fan mail and resulted in a three-year contract as a regular on the country-oriented show. When "The Toby Dowdy Show" went off the air, Johnny had the opportunity to do his own show. He successfully juggled his weekly TV show and his studies at the University of Florida until graduation.

It was during these years that he began writing songs. In 1957 a local disc jockey submitted a tape of Johnny's singing to the National Pet Milk Talent Contest. Johnny was chosen as one of the six national winners, which afforded him the opportunity to perform on WSM radio in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was to receive his biggest break. Lee Rosenberg, a Nashville music publisher, was so impressed with Johnny that she took his tape to Archie Bleyer, the owner of Cadence Records and the force behind much of the success of The Everly Brothers, Andy Williams, The Chordettes and many other artists.

While Johnny was finishing his studies at the University of Florida (he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Communications in 1959), Archie recorded Johnny singing his own composition, "Dreamy Eyes". It went to the top of the charts in Florida and many other parts of the country, which proved to Archie that Johnny had what it took to sell records. He invited Johnny to move to New York City immediately upon graduating from college. This was the start of a string of chart records: "Poetry In Motion", "It Keeps Right On A Hurtin", "Without You", "Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On" and many more. It was "It Keeps Right On A Hurtin", one of hiw own compositions, that brought Johnny his first Grammy nomination, along with the distinction of becoming one of the first "cross-over" artists. This established Johnny as a country-pop star. The song went on to be recorded by 108 artists, including Elvis Presley, and it became a #l selling country hit by Billy Joe Royal.

With 18 chart records to his credit, he moved to MGM Records, where his first release, "Talk Back Trembling Lips", was a huge success. This was followed by another eiht chart records including "Heartaches By The Number", which gave Johnny his second Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Performance. He also recorded the popular hit theme song for the T.V. show Gidget (1965), starring Sally Field. His other hits included "She Understands Me", "Worry" and "You're The Reason". These hits and his endearing personality and stage presence have enabled Johnny to have a very successful concert career, entertaining audiences all over the world.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: johnnytillotson.com (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Trivia (2)

Was at one time a DJ in Jacksonville, Florida.
His 1962 song "It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'" was not, as commonly thought, a romantic ballad but was inspired by his father's death.

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