Johnny Temple (musician)

Johnny Temple (October 18, 1906 – November 22, 1968)[1] was an American Chicago blues guitarist and singer, who was active in the 1930s and 1940s.[2] He was variously billed as Johnny Temple, Johnnie Temple and Johnnie "Geechie" Temple.

Johnny Temple
Born(1906-10-18)October 18, 1906
Hazlehurst, Mississippi, United States
DiedNovember 22, 1968(1968-11-22) (aged 62)
Canton, Mississippi, United States
GenresDelta blues, folk blues
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, beastslayer
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals, piano, washboard

Life and careerEdit

Temple was born in Canton, Mississippi, and grew up around Jackson.[3] He learned to play guitar and mandolin as a child and began playing house parties as a teenager.[4] While in Jackson he befriended Skip James.[5] He moved to Chicago in the early 1930s and started playing with Joe McCoy in clubs.[3] Temple began recording songs such as "The Evil Devil Blues" and "Lead Pencil Blues" in 1935.[6] His most popular record, "Louise Louise Blues," released by Decca Records, was a hit in 1936.[7] The Harlem Hamfats, a Chicago jazz band formed in 1936, provided backup music for Temple and other singers.[3] By 1940, Decca had released two dozen of his records.[6]

Temple continued recording with various labels through most of the 1940s. His connection with the record producer Mayo Williams provided him with recording opportunities until 1949.[3] After World War II, Temple played an important role in welcoming blues musicians who arrived from the South.[5] Though his recording career ended, he continued to perform gigs, often alongside Big Walter Horton and Billy Boy Arnold. He returned to Mississippi in the mid-1950s, where he continued to perform in clubs and juke joints in and around Jackson.[4]

Temple eventually gave up the blues to become a minister.[5] He died of cancer on November 22, 1968,[1] aged 62, in Jackson.

DiscographyEdit

Artist Recording Date Matrix Song Catalog Release Date
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1935 C-987-A The Evil Devil Blues Vocalion 02987 1935
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1935 C-987-B Jacksonville Blues Vocalion 02987 1935
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1935 C-983-B Lead Pencil Blues (It Just Won't Write) Vocalion 03068 1935
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1935 C-986-B Big Boat Whistle Vocalion 03068 1935
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1935 C-985-B Morning Prayer Blues Vocalion (unissued)
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1935 C-988-B Cypress Grove Blues Vocalion (unissued)
Johnnie Temple 12 November 1936 90980-A New Vicksburg Blues Decca 7244 1936
Johnnie Temple 12 November 1936 90981-A Louise Louise Blues Decca 7244 1936
Johnnie Temple 12 November 1936 90981-B Big Leg Woman[8] Decca 7244 1936
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1937 91249-A Peepin' Through the Keyhole Decca 7316 1937
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1937 91251-A East St. Louis Blues Decca 7316 1937
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1937 91247-A So Lonely and Blue Decca 7337 1937
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1937 91248-A New Louise Louise Blues Decca 7337 1937
Johnnie Temple and the Harlem Hamfats 6 October 1937 62653-A Gimme Some of That Yum Yum Yum Decca 7385 1937
Johnnie Temple and the Harlem Hamfats 6 October 1937 62654-A Hoodoo Woman Decca 7385 1937
Johnnie Temple and the Harlem Hamfats 6 October 1937 62655-A Mama's Bad Luck Child Decca 7416 1937
Johnnie Temple and the Harlem Hamfats 14 May 1937 91246-A Snapping Cat Decca 7416 1937
Johnnie Temple 14 May 1937 91250-A Pimple Blues Decca 7444 1937
Johnnie Temple 6 October 1937 62656-A Mean Baby Blues Decca 7444 1937
Johnnie Temple 28 October 1937 C-2046-2 Beale Street Sheik Vocalion (unissued)
Johnnie Temple 28 October 1937 C-2049-2 The Hoodoo Plan Vocalion (unissued)
Johnny Temple with the Harlem Hamfats 22 April 1938 63670-A What Is That Smells Like Gravy Decca 7456 1938
Johnny Temple with the Harlem Hamfats 22 April 1938 63674-A County Jail Blues Decca 7456 1938
Johnny Temple with the Harlem Hamfats 22 April 1938 63671-A Every Dog Must Have His Day Decca 7495 1938
Johnny Temple with the Harlem Hamfats 22 April 1938 63672-A Fare You Well Decca 7495 1938
Johnny Temple with the Harlem Hamfats 22 April 1938 63673-A Stavin' Chain Decca 7532 1938
Johnny Temple with the Harlem Hamfats 22 April 1938 63675-A Gonna Ride 74 Decca 7532 1938
Johnny Temple 17 October 1938 91520-A Big Leg Woman Decca 7547 1938
Johnny Temple 17 October 1938 91523-A Between Midnight and Dawn Decca 7547 1938

Selected discographyEdit

Year Title Genre Label Notes
2003 The Essential (original recording remastered) Chicago blues Classic Blues 2 CDs, 36 tracks

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Johnny Temple (2) Discography". discogs. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  2. ^ Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music. Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.
  3. ^ a b c d Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 175–176. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  4. ^ a b Koda, Cub. "Johnnie "Geechie" Temple". Allmusic. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Herzhaft, Gerard (1992). Encyclopedia of the Blues (2nd ed.). University of Arkansas Press. p. 206. ISBN 1610751396.
  6. ^ a b "The Secret History of Chicago Music: Johnnie Temple". Chicago Reader. January 15, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  7. ^ Santelli, Robert (2001). The Big Book of Blues. Penguin Books. page 454. ISBN 0-14-100145-3.
  8. ^ Johnny Temple – Topic (November 7, 2014), Big Leg Woman, retrieved April 10, 2016

External linksEdit