Sign up for newsletter
 

Singer/songwriter Michael Johnson dies

Thursday, July 27, 2017 – Singer/songwriter Michael Johnson, who had several country hits, but best known for his soft rock hits, died on Tuesday at 72 in Minneapolis.

Johnson, a Colorado native, scored number 1 hits with "Give Me Wings" and "The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder" in 1986-87 on the country charts.

His biggest hit, though was the soft, mellow song "Bluer Than Blue" (number 12, 1978) and "This Night Won't Last Forever" (19, 1979).

Early in his career, Johnson was a member of the Chad Mitchell Trio, which also featured the late John Denver. The two wrote songs together.

Johnson released his first album, "There Is a Breeze," for Atco Records in 1973 and For All You Mad Musicians" (1975) and "Ain't Dis Da Life" (1977).

Working with Brent Maher and Steve Gibson in Nashville, Johnson created a two-song demo consisting of "Bluer Than Blue" and "Almost Like Being in Love." EMI America quickly signed him with Johnson putting out five albums.

In 1985, Johnson signed with RCA's country division, forging a contemporary country sound. His debut single was a duet with Sylvia, "I Love You by Heart," reaching nine. Johnson also enjoyed hits with "Crying Shame," "I Will Whisper Your Name" and "That's That."

Johnson continued recording for a variety of labels including Atlantic, Razor & Tie and Red House. He released his last album, "Moonlit Deja Vu" in 2012.

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Combs, Gill, Harris, Crow comprise one final musical platter – Vince Gill played host to an entertaining guitar pull, a show which also featured his longtime friend, Emmylou Harris, slightly newer friend Sheryl Crow and brand-new friend Luke Combs. Gill joked from the outset that this All for the Hall fundraising show needed Combs to sell tickets, and by the audience's response, it was clear many came only to see Combs.... »»»
Concert Review: Stapleton shows his traditional roots – Chris Stapleton's All-American Road show feels like a singular mission to rid the genre of the bro country scourge that has plagued it for years. He came out with a blazing one-two punch of "Second One To Know" and "Without Your Love" and packed a stadium sized onslaught into a 9,000-seat arena. He never once veered from his... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Chip Kinman celebrates brother, career on "Sounds Like Music" For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»