Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Donald Ray Johnson took an early interest in music,
as did his older sister Janice Marie. They sang in church and at family
house was across the street from the Allen Military Academy, and I would
rush home from school to listen to the marching band's practices,
especially the drum cadences."
At age 14, Donald Ray began his professional career with blues piano legend Nat Dove.
Throughout his teens Donald played with the two local bluesmen based in Bryan. Organist Joe Daniels, and Guitarist Lavernis Thurman.( " We played a live radio show every Sat. night.")
Jan. 18th, 1966, Donald Ray entered the US Navy serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard. After two tours in southeast asia ( Viet Nam ), he was honorably discharged.
After his discharge Donald Ray relocated to San Diego. While working " house band " at the Downtown Hustlers Club, Donald met quite a few of the L.A. based blues & R&B artists including Lowell Fulsom, Bobby Womack, and Pee Wee Crayton.
In early 1970, Don was called to play weekends in LA with Phillip Walker, by long time friend Nat Dove, who now lived in LA. Some 29 years later the relationship with the Phillip Walker Band still exists.
In 1971 Donald moved to LA to work with the
Joe Houston big band
backing some of the west coast's top blues artist. Grammy Award winning
musician , Rhythm & Blues vocalist and drummer. Also known as Don
Johnson. Now based in Calgary, Canada.
Copyrights © 2003-2011 Donald Ray Johnson