Real Name:
William Laird Johnson
Profile:
American drummer born in Philadelphia, PA. He was the beneficiary of the mentoring of fine players like Gerry Brown and Cornell Rochester on the local scene. He spent a lot of time traveling back and forth between Philly and New York, playing at one time in a band with guitarist Kevin Eubanks and his brother, trombonist Robin Eubanks. It's easy to see why the guitarist Carlos Santana enlisted Billy Johnson on three different occasions to man the traps for tours and albums. He did his first tour with Santana in 1990 and 1991, and then rejoined the band in the summer of 1994 for about two-and-a-half years. Johnson is fleet around the kit, but his most spectacular quality might be his grounding. He throws his roots deep into the music, keeps the drive going while leaving room for the percussion to breathe around him. Johnson performed on Santana's 'Milagro' album in 1992, and the 'Brothers' record featuring Carlos and Jorge Santana. He plays the opening cut on Santana's smash, 'Supernatural', the spirited romp (Da Le)Taleo. Billy Johnson has provided a hot rhythmic bedrock - a steady pulse on Put Your Lights On, the powerful tom work on Migra, some slinky funk on Love Of My Life, and the upbeat Latin-infused rock on Maria Maria and Smooth.
Billy Johnson has played on four albums with Frankie Beverly and Maze, including 'Joy and Pain', 'Live In New Orleans', 'We Are One', and 'Back To Basics'.
Billy Johnson has also been performing with contemporary jazz guitarist Joyce Cooling since late in '96 (and played one track on her second cd, 'Keeping Cool'), and has been playing with the Bay Area pop band Pablo Cruise when time permits.

For the guitarist associated with John Lee Hooker, see Billy Johnson (11).
Sites:
In Groups:
Variations:

Vocals

Billy Johnson - What's Bootsy Doin'? album art Bootsy Collins Bootsy Collins - What's Bootsy Doin'? (Album) CBS UK & France 1988 Sell This Version

Instruments & Performance

Billy Johnson - Smilin' album art The Nineteenth Whole The Nineteenth Whole - Smilin' (Album) Eastbound Records US 1972 Sell This Version
0969 Billy Johnson - Pegasus album art Pegasus (4) Pegasus (4) - Pegasus(LP, Album) Sunshine Records (2) 0969 US 1977 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Only The Strong Survive album art Billy Paul Billy Paul - Only The Strong Survive (Album) Philadelphia International Records Chile 1977 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - What The World Is Coming To album art Dexter Wansel Dexter Wansel - What The World Is Coming To (Album) Philadelphia International Records Canada 1977 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - The Best Of Donny Hathaway album art Donny Hathaway Donny Hathaway - The Best Of Donny Hathaway (Comp) ATCO Records US 1978 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Happy To Be With You album art Jean Carn Jean Carn - Happy To Be With You (Album) Philadelphia International Records US 1978 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Voyager album art Dexter Wansel Dexter Wansel - Voyager (Album) Philadelphia International Records US 1978 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Dee Dee album art Dee Dee Sharp Gamble If We're Gonna Stay Together Dee Dee Sharp Gamble - Dee Dee (Album) Philadelphia International Records US 1980 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Mysteries Of The World album art MFSB Tell Me Why MFSB - Mysteries Of The World (Album) TSOP Canada 1980 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Joy And Pain album art Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly - Joy And Pain (Album) Capitol Records US 1980 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Sayin' Something! album art Peaches & Herb Peaches & Herb - Sayin' Something! (Album) Polydor, Polydor Singapore, Malaysia & Hong Kong 1981 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Live In New Orleans album art Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly - Live In New Orleans (Album) Capitol Records France 1981 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Asphalt Gardens album art George Howard Is This Commercial Enough For You? and 5 more… George Howard - Asphalt Gardens (Album) Palo Alto Jazz US 1982 Sell This Version
Carl Carlton Carl Carlton - The Bad C.C. (Album) RCA Victor Spain 1982 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - We Are One album art Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly - We Are One (Album) Capitol Records Portugal 1983 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Makoto album art Makoto Horiuchi Makoto Horiuchi - Makoto (Album) Qwest Records, Qwest Records US 1983 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Tiggi Clay album art Tiggi Clay Tiggi Clay - Tiggi Clay (Album) Morocco Records Europe 1984 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Dancing In The Sun album art George Howard George Howard - Dancing In The Sun (Album) TBA Records US 1985 Sell This Version
9 25301-1, 1-25301 Billy Johnson - Nside album art Makoto* Makoto* - Nside(LP, Album) Qwest Records, Qwest Records 9 25301-1, 1-25301 US 1985 Sell This Version
MCF2097 Billy Johnson - Blue Christmas album art Honey Davis / Hollyrock Honey Davis / Hollyrock - Blue Christmas(7") Life & Death Records MCF2097 US 1986 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Love Will Follow album art George Howard It Can't Be Forever and 2 more… George Howard - Love Will Follow (Album) TBA Records Germany 1986 Sell This Version
Billy Johnson - Curtis Hairston album art Curtis Hairston Curtis Hairston - Curtis Hairston (Album) Atlantic Europe 1986 Sell This Version
VIRUS 54 Billy Johnson - Looters album art Looters* Looters* - Looters(12", EP) Alternative Tentacles VIRUS 54 UK 1986 Sell This Version
L&D HRKLP 01 Billy Johnson - Legalize Freedom album art Hollyrock Hollyrock - Legalize Freedom(LP) Life & Death Records L&D HRKLP 01 US 1987 Sell This Version