Johnny Guitar Watson

Johnny Guitar Watson

Real Name:
John Jacob Watson
Born: 3rd February 1935, Houston, Texas, USA.
Died: 17th May 1996, Yokohama, Japan.

Seminal electric blues & rhythm & blues guitarist of the mid-1950s, with hits like "Gangster Of Love". Performed with artists such as Little Richard and worked in synthesizer productions in the 1960s.

In later years his work was a source for sampling by artists such as Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. He also worked on a number of recordings and projects with Frank Zappa, who cites Watson: "Watson's 1956 song, 'Three Hours Past Midnight' inspired me to become a guitarist."

Watson learned the rudiments of music on the piano as a child. He took up the guitar on the agreement with his preacher grandfather that he would not use it to 'play the blues'. His family moved to Los Angeles in the '50s and, as a teenager, he cut his teeth playing guitar, piano and singing in local LA 'jump bands'. Watson collapsed and died onstage of cardiac infarction whilst performing in Japan. Witnesses said his last words were "Ain't That A Bitch."
In Groups:

Johnny Guitar Watson Discography


CST 358 Bobby Bland, Johnny Guitar Watson Bobby Bland, Johnny Guitar Watson - Bobby "Blue" Bland And Johnny "Guitar" Watson Crown Records (2) CST 358 US 1963 Sell This Version
LP-1490 Johnny (Guitar) Watson* The Blues Soul Of (Album) Chess LP-1490 US 1963 Sell This Version
857 Johnny "Guitar" Watson* Johnny "Guitar" Watson (Album) King Records (3) 857 US 1963 Sell This Version
OKS 14118 Johnny Watson* Bad (Album) Okeh OKS 14118 US 1967 Sell This Version
F-9437 DJ Johnny Guitar Watson Listen (Album) Fantasy F-9437 DJ US 1973 Sell This Version
F-9484 Johnny Guitar Watson I Don't Want To Be Alone, Stranger (Album) Fantasy F-9484 US 1975 Sell This Version
503017 Johnny Guitar Watson Ain't That A Bitch (Album) DJM Records (2) 503017 France 1976 Sell This Version
DJL 7026 Johnny Guitar Watson Funk Beyond The Call Of Duty (Album) DJM Records (2) DJL 7026 Europe 1977 Sell This Version
9238-7 Johnny Guitar Watson A Real Mother For Ya (Album) DJM Records (2) 9238-7 Canada 1977 Sell This Version
DJF 20551 Johnny Guitar Watson Giant (Album) DJM Records (2) DJF 20551 Europe 1978 Sell This Version
DJM-24 Johnny Guitar Watson What The Hell Is This? (Album) DJM Records (2) DJM-24 US 1979 Sell This Version
DJF 20568 Johnny Guitar Watson Love Jones (Album) DJM Records (2) DJF 20568 Italy 1980 Sell This Version
AMS 20002 Johnny Guitar Watson That's What Time It Is (Album) A&M Records, A&M Records AMS 20002 Japan 1981 Sell This Version
DJL-7052 Johnny Guitar Watson Johnny "Guitar" Watson And The Family Clone (Album) DJM Records (2) DJL-7052 Spain 1981 Sell This Version
VV69 Johnny Guitar Watson Strike On Computers (Album) Valley Vue Records VV69 US 1984 Sell This Version
BR 71007 2 Johnny "Guitar" Watson* Bow Wow (Album) Wilma Records BR 71007 2 US 1994 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

45-12131 Young John Watson* Motor Head Baby / Sad Fool (Single) Federal Records (2) 45-12131 US 1953 Sell This Version
45-12175 Young John Watson* Space Guitar (Single) Federal Records (2) 45-12175 US 1954 Sell This Version
45x423 Johnny "Guitar" Watson* Hot Little Mamma / I Love To Love You (Single) RPM Records (5) 45x423 US 1955 Sell This Version
436 Johnny "Guitar" Watson* Those Lonely Lonely Nights / Someone Cares For Me (Single) RPM Records (5) 436 US 1955 Sell This Version
455 Johnny "Guitar" Watson* Three Hours Past Midnight / Ruben (Single) RPM Records (5) 455 US 1956 Sell This Version
45x471 Johnny "Guitar" Watson* Love Me Baby / She Moves Me(7") RPM Records (5) 45x471 US 1956 Sell This Version
7167 Johnny Guitar Watson Come To The Party(7", Single) Allstar Records (2) 7167 US 1957 Sell This Version
3-4005 Johnny Guitar Watson One Room Country Shack / Gangster Of Love Keen (2) 3-4005 US 1958 Sell This Version
246 Johnny (Guitar) Watson* The Bear(7", Single) Class 246 US 1959 Sell This Version

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October 18, 2012
edited over 3 years ago
Johnny ´Guitar´ Watson - Superman Lover: The Ultimate Collection (3xCD - Sanctuary #SMETD-008)


December 17, 2004
edited over 11 years ago
Johnny Guitar Watson was a real rocker. In the 50's he made advanced (for decades ahead) records like space guitar. He's discovered and played in the Johnny Otis Show 'headspinning & guitar playing with his mouth' with some of the most crucial R&B acts (since R & B is founded). His reputation was equally to B.B. King's and his outstanding guitar playing can be compared to Syl Johnson's (sang 'I resign'(50's), Different Strokes' (60's), 'Is it because I'm black' (70's) - both are excellent guitar players and vocalists).

Johnny 'Guitar' Watson's carreer in the 70's was in the DISCO-scene. Styled like a mix of P-Diddy ('master pimp in white suits') & Lil'John (& Eastside Boyz - rude boy with flashing gold tooth/diamond inlay) he sangs and plays ruff things: 'Ain't that a bitch'/'Gangster of Love'/'What The Hell Is This'/'A Real Mother For Ya' (& many more tracks).

Definitly a Joker in the black music game (you must have like James Brown to see where is HipHop coming from (it's not out of the blue)).

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