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.