Born in Cantwell, Missouri, Johnny´s sister gave him
when he was eight. By theage of ten, he was picking and on
KFMO Radio in Flat River, Missouri with his good friends Ted
Jack Cunningham. His first playing job was at age 11with Al
Roberts and the Missouri Playboys. His first big job was
Skeet Yancey, in St.
Louis and he was about 13. They
festivals and he had a TV show once a week. From there
went to Chicago where Buddy Emmons,
the great steel player,
came by and wanted to sit in with band and Johnny hired him.
Roy Meese played rhythm guitarand fronted the band.
They had a
trio in Chicago and then went on to Kennet, Missouri in
had a big group of 5-6
playing on KBOA Radio
But they never recorded anything.
In `51 Johnny went to Oklahoma City and auditioned for Merl Lindsay and the
Oklahoma Night Riders. Their girl singer, Wanda Jackson, was too young to travel with the band and could only sing on Saturdays. They did some recordings, the "Water Baby Blues" could be one and Johnny is pretty sure he was on the Staff #322 "Turner Turnpike"/"I
Live For You". All recordings 1951 - 1955 Johnny was a part of. They did also TV spots and a daily radio show plus some movie shorts. They did a Mid-west tour with Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys and a three week tour with Minnie Pearl. While in California
they recorded a song with Jimmy Wakely. They came back to Oklahoma City and went on to Nashville and recorded four songs with Vonnie Mack (Y´vonne McGowyn) on the Columbia label: #21541 "Slowly I´m Losing You" / "Blue Mountain Waltz"
"I Live For You" / "Please Forgive Me"
From there Johnny moved to Lawton, Oklahoma to work with Little Joe Carson. He worked with Joe for about 8 months at the Southern Club in Lawton. Probably no recordings
with Joe, but Merle Travis came in while Johnny was there. Little Joe was a honkytonk singer. He died at 27 following an automobile accident in 1964 while he was starting to have a major chart success with songs like "I Gotta Get Drunk
(and I sure do dread it)" and "Helpless". Bear Family Records has released a CD "Hillbilly From Mars" with 33 songs, BCD-15757.
Johnny moved to Abilene and bought The Twilight Ranch
Night Club with his band The Twilight Ranch Hands. The featured vocalist was Don Fager. A lot sof songs were recorded on Johnny´s label Ebony Records, among them "Date On The Corner". Johnny recorded
himself singing "Looks Like We´re Thu" / "Same Old Story". While in Abilene he had a daily radio show and a weekly TV Show. In `58 his band worked on the Fat Stock Show in San Antonio, Texas, with Jimmy Dean.
After that Johnny moved to Baton Rouge. Louisiana and started working with Jimmie Davis Sunshine Bandwhen Jimmie campaigned for Gov. of Louisiana. Johnny was part of the deadhead payroll along with Moon Mullican. Johnny recorded ”Let the Good Times Roll”with
Moon and Jimmie did the same song. Both were recorded at Decca Records in Nashville. ”Deadhead payroll” - Gov. Jimmie Davis kept them on the state payroll and put them in positions that were known as DEADHEAD PAYROLL. Inotherwords, they were not
elected officials but got paid by the state but their jobs were to play guitar for Jimmie Davis. Johnny was put in the ”roll” of ”State Peach Inspector for the State of Louisiana”. Moon Mullican started off as ”Liquor Control
Board for the State of Louisiana”, but they had to change because he was getting too many FREE samples. Johnny still has his plague from the State of Louisiana.
The Plainsmen Quartetwas part of the gang around the Gov. Davis and Johnny plays on one of their albums. The Quartet used to back up Johnny Horton and they are probably on Horton´s megahit ”North to Alaska” which was used in the same title movie with John Wayne.They were also in Omaha, Nebraska playing the State Fair of Omaha.
Major Bill Smith, LeCam Records,
- Delbert McClinton recorded
”If You really Want To I´ll Go” but it was done in early 60´s. Johnny was part of the studio ”Ron-dels”.He never toured with Delbert. Paul English
played drums and he has been with Willie Nelsonfor many years and is his road manager now. His little brother, Billy plays for Willie now.
Johnny has also played with Jimmie Swaggart, first cousin to Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey
”Hey Baby” was a big hit for Bruce Chanel. Johnny played on many of the Major Bill Smith´s productions, not on this one though.
Ray Chaney was a country singer who owned the night club Crystal Springs Ballroomin Fort Worth, where Johnny worked awhile. Ray recorded a song Johnny wrote, ”Contented with the Blues” on
the Shaw Records.
JIMMY MCGRAW (v) w/ THE MILLER BROS. - Loco Choo Choo (4 Star 1699)
Johnny´s career led him back to Wichita Falls, Texas where he boughtThe Miller Brothers Bandand became a Johnny Miller. The booking agent was Sam Gibbs, who also booked Bob
Wills.Sam called andsaid that Bob Wills was looking for a lead guitar and in 1962 Johnny Patterson became a Texas
Playboy. The band headed for California to record for Liberty Records, Bob´s last album recorded in Hollywood.
Bob Wills Sings and Plays –Liberty LRP-3194/LST-7194 //Sunset
Fiddles: Bob Wills, Billy Armstrong, Louis Tierney, Gene Gasaway, George Clayburn
Steel guitar: Gene Crownover
Piano: Gene Garf
Lead guitar: Johnny Patterson
Guitars: Tommy Allsup
Bass: Luke Wills
Viola: Billy Wright
Vocal backup: Billy Mize, Buzz Cason, Vikki Carr, Cliff Crofford
May 7, 1963 were these tracks recorded:
Maiden´s Prayer Instrumental
Boot Hill Drag Instrumental
Yearning (Just for You)- Bob Wills
My Confession - Bob Wills
St. Louis Blues Bob Wills (unissued)
Big Beaver Instrumental (unissued)
May 8, 1963:
Just Friends Instrumental (unissued)
Rosetta - Bob Wills
My Mary - Bob Wills
Sittin´ On Top of the
World - Bob Wills
Blues in ”A” Instrumental
Will You Miss Me When I´m Gone - Luke Wills
Snap Your Fingers - George Clayburn
Heartstrings Instrumental (unissued)
May 10, 1963 only one instrumental tune was recorded:
Don´t Let Your Deal Go Down
In Sunset Studios, Dallas, Texas 1964:
”Bob Wills, The Texas Sound On Longhorn” (LP-007)
Fiddles: Bob Wills, Johnny Gimble, Gene Gasaway, George Clayburn
Steel guitar:Gene Crownover
Electric guitar:Johnny Patterson
Johnny Patterson participated on these four tracks:
Sooner Or Later (You´ll Fall) - Joe Andrews
Buffalo Twist - George Clayburn
Night Long - Joe Andrews
You Can´t Break A Heart - Joe Andrews
Remaining songs were:
If He´s Movin´ In (I´m Movin´ Out) - Joe Andrews
Let´s Get It Over and Done With - Joe Andrews
Faded Love Instrumental
Bob Will´s Waltz Instrumental
Old San Antonio Rose Instrumental
More details from Johnny Patterson´s life
Charley Pride was to record a live album at Panther Hall in Fort Worth and the producer Felton Jarvis called Johnny to play guitar. The album was
”Live at Panther Hall” which included the #1 hit ”Kawliga”.
Johnny has played with and produced a bunch of songs with Dean Charles, ”Matilda” & ”You Belong To Me”for instance.
Merle Davis´album on Zak-Tone LPS-21736 has as producer Johnny who also plays guitar.
Jr Mitchan is a name that pops up here and there. Bass player, born in Corpus Christi,
died January 3rd2005 at 72. Played withAdolf
Hofner and can be heard on the DVD ”Adolf´s Beautiful America”. He also played bass and rhythm guitar for Bob Wills 1961 – 1962 and in 1964.
Johnny recorded an album
for Glynn Duncan which was forwarded to Jr Mitchan but it is not known what happened to the material. Jr
Mitchan was a salesman in San Antonio and played with the local band Bubba Littrell and the Melody Mustangs. This
band has released several albums.
Mike Gross informs me that Mitchan
recorded four tracks (2 45 rpms) on Johnnys Discus label but knows not if Johnny plays on these. Mike has also a Music Mill 45 rpm with Leon Rausch recorded in Fort Worth March 12th,1972 and the songs are: ”The Winning Card” / ”Let Your Heart Be True”. The year before Johnny recorded the album ”Leon Rausch Doin´ It Bob´s Way” on Discus LPS-911 with following musicians: Kenny
Norman-steel guitar, Lindsey Reist-piano,
JP-rhythm & lead guitar, Leon
Rausch & Harlan Powell-bass, Casey Dickens, David Brown & Tommy Hargrove-drums, Tommy Camfield, Buddy Wallace, B.D. Griffin, Bobby Zellner & David Odom-fiddles. The songs are:
Home In San Antone – Maiden´s Prayer – Deep Water – Hang Your Head In Shame – San Antonio Rose – Time Changes Everything
- I Wonder If You Feel The Way I Do – My Confession – Corine, Corina – A Broken Heart Fo A Souvenir – A New Road Under My Wheels.
DRINKING CHAMPAGNE - (Bill
The very first version of ”Drinking Champagne” was released on Johnny´s label, Discus Records.
Johnny produced a show for Texas Touring Roster called ”Always... A Texas Playboy” with a gang of familiar Western Swingers and former Playboys: Casey Dickens-drums, Albert Talley- steel guitar, Bobby Boatright & George
Uptmor-fiddles, Larry Reed-sax,
L.J. Pritchett & Glynn Duncan & Carl Vaughn-vocals, Kelli Grant- piano, bass and vocal.
also with the Kelli Grant Showwhich have almost same
musicians: Talley, Boatright, Dickens, Uptmor, JP, and also
Dave Hardin-trumpet and Bob Myerson sax and clarinet. Jeff Ebner plays drums when Dickens does
not have time.
Johnny had the record company Silverfalls Records and visit this link:
SR-1118 Always A Texas Playboy * Live Stage Show
SR-1107 Live In Pawhuska * The Texas Playboys
SR-1109 Pawhuska 98 * The Texas Playboys
SR-1999 99 And Counting * The Texas Playboys
SR-1201 Live In San Antonio * BOB WILLS & The Texas Playboys * THIS IS A COLLECTOR ITEM! Casey made these tapes live off the band stand. Bob Wills is talking and cutting up a lot. You´ll really enjoy