“Poetry In Motion – Earth Angel”
JOHNNY TILLOTSON’S artistic ability and energetic personality consistently delights audiences of all age groups.
He was born in Jacksonville, Florida, where he lived with his parents until he was nine years old. At that time because of family illnesses he was given the responsibility of taking care of his grandmother in Palatka, Florida, some 50 miles away. He traveled back to Jacksonville to be with his parents each summer.
2014 Inductee into the American Pop Music Hall of Fame
2014 BrandLaureate International Legendary Award
2011 Inductee into the Florida Artist Hall Of Fame
2008 Inductee into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame
2006 Alumnus Of Distinction College of Journalism and
Communications University of Florida Gainesville
It was at this early age that he decided to be a singer. With the encouragement of his mother and grandmother, Johnny began to perform at local functions and on local radio. So, by the time he entered Palatka Senior High School he had quite a reputation as a talented singer throughout the state of Florida . It was during this time that he made his first television appearance as a guest on the “Toby Dowdy Show.” Johnny’s performance produced a steady stream of fan mail and resulted in him becoming a regular on the country oriented show.
When the “Toby Dowdy Show” went off the air several years later, Johnny had the opportunity to do his own show. He was attending the U of F and he successfully juggled his weekly T.V. show and his studies at the University. In 2006 he was honored as an Alumnus of Distinction by the college, only one of approximately 100 to ever be so recognized.
2 TIME GRAMMY NOMINEE
Johnny began writing songs early on , but his early hits were written while he was attending college. In 1957, a local D.J. submitted a tape of Johnny’s singing to the National Pet Milk Talent Contest. From this tape Johnny was chosen as one of the 6 national winners , which afforded him the opportunity to perform on WSM radio in Nashville, Tennessee. While in Nashville for his performance he was to receive his biggest break. Miss Lee Rosenberg a Nashville music publisher, was so impressed with Johnny, she took his tape to Archie Bleyer. Archie was 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. Archie was impressed and signed Johnny to the Cadence record label.
While Johnny was finishing his studies at the University of
Florida, (He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Communications 1959.) Archie recorded Johnny singing his own composition “Dreamy Eyes.” The song became a hit in Florida and many other parts of the country, which proved to Archie that Johnny had what it took to sell records.
9 TOP 10 HITS & 15 TOP 40 HITS IN THE U.S.
Archie then invited Johnny to move to New York City immediately upon graduating from college. This was the start of a very successful collaboration and recording career with a string of hit 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 Johnny’s own compositions, which brought Johnny his first Grammy nomination along with the distinction of becoming one of the first cross-over artists. Johnny was a forerunner in bringing country music to the Pop market. This firmly established Johnny as a country-pop star. The song went on to be recorded by over 110 artists including Elvis Presley and it became a #1 selling country hit by Billy Joe Royal.
BMI AWARD WINNING SONGWRITER
Things were changing at Cadence and so with 25 chart records to his credit in the USA, Johnny moved on to the M.G.M Recording label, where his first release “Talk Back Trembling Lips” was a huge success. This was followed over the years by another 23 chart records in the US. With 9 top ten hits, 15 top 40 hits and his recordings charting 48 times on the Billboard , Pop, Country, Adult Contemporary charts , Johnny has the distinction of being one of the top 100 recording artists of the Rock era.
“Heartaches By The Number,” gave Johnny his second Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Performance. He also recorded the popular hit theme song for the T.V. show Gidget starring Sally Field during these years.
Johnny has recorded in 5 languages, English, Japanese, German, Spanish, and Italian. In addition to his US hits Johnny has had many hits internationally, with over 100 chart entries and 6 #1 recordings including “Poetry In Motion,” “Judy, Judy, Judy,” “Namida Kun Sayonara,” “You and Me,” “Cutie Pie,” and “You Can Never Stop Me Loving You.”