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Last of the articles and ...
Forum: mjblue.com Updates
Last Post: Cindy M
05-24-2022, 09:22 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 21
MJ Tablature and Chords W...
Forum: Michael Discussion
Last Post: Cindy M
05-24-2022, 08:30 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 19
Black Orpheus
Forum: MJ YouTube
Last Post: Cindy M
05-23-2022, 11:28 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 17
1981 concert review
Forum: mjblue.com Updates
Last Post: Cindy M
05-20-2022, 12:38 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 27
many updates
Forum: mjblue.com Updates
Last Post: Cindy M
05-15-2022, 02:51 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 55
Memorabilia page
Forum: mjblue.com Updates
Last Post: Cindy M
05-15-2022, 09:55 AM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 112
1974 concert review (well...
Forum: Michael Discussion
Last Post: Cindy M
05-14-2022, 11:53 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 49
Denver, Boise & Johnson
Forum: mjblue.com Updates
Last Post: Cindy M
05-12-2022, 01:13 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 81
Hugh Prestwood & Michael:...
Forum: MJ YouTube
Last Post: Cindy M
05-10-2022, 09:11 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 64
Mark Henley's Passing
Forum: Michael Discussion
Last Post: Cindy M
05-08-2022, 05:26 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 71

 
  Last of the articles and new photo
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-24-2022, 09:22 AM - Forum: mjblue.com Updates - No Replies

So, MJ gave me his file folder of newspaper articles over a decade ago. I've put up the most interesting ones, accompanied with their photos.

Here's a listing:

Michael Johnson — Varied Style - 1973

Michael Johnson combines folk-pop styles - 1978

Only the Song is Blue - 1981


Still Singing the Blues - 1982

Michael Johnson is singing state's praises to the world -1984 - audio included

Mellow Magic - Popular balladeer charms SCS fans with favorite songs -1984

His songs have 'Wings'—say country fans - 1988

Nothing Lasts Forever: Michael Johnson finds things sweeter the second time around- 1988

A Way to Begin: Michael Johnson talks to Gordon Hayes - 1989

Michael Johnson and Jim Ed Brown light up the stage at Secrest Auditorium - 1991

Minnesotans in Music City - 1993

Michael Johnson rings in New Year in New Ulm - 2006 (Gold record donation)

Also added his guitar taping song list to the Memorabilia Page and new reviews of Lifetime Guarantee and Life's a Bitch.

New photo:
[Image: joeyrory.jpg]
Joey and Rory, Lari White, Lionel Cartwright, Michael Johnson, unidentified

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  MJ Tablature and Chords Website
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-24-2022, 08:30 AM - Forum: Michael Discussion - No Replies

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/artist/m...nson_10610

And Ill Always Love You - Tab
April Fool - Chords
Blew By You - Chords
Bluer Than Blue - Chords
Bluer Than Blue (ver 2) - Chords
Bluer Than Blue (ver 3) - Chords
Bluer Than Blue - Ukulele
Dialogue - Chords
Doors - Chords
Doors (ver 2) - Chords
Emilio - Chords
Give Me Wings - Chords
Give Me Wings - Ukulele
I Cant Get To You From Here - Chords
I Will Whisper Your Name - Chords
Ill Always Love You - Pro
Ill Always Love You - Chords
Ill Always Love You (ver 2) - Chords
Ill Always Love You (ver 3) - Chords
Ill Always Love You (ver 4) - Chords
Ill Always Love You (ver 5) - Chords
Ill Always Love You - Tab
Ill Always Love You (ver 2) - Tab
Ill Always Love You (ver 3) - Tab
Ill Always Love You (ver 4) - Tab
Ill Always Love You (ver 5) - Tab
Ill Always Love You (ver 6) - Tab
Ill Always Love You - Guitar Pro
Ill Always Love You* - Ukulele
Pilot Me* - Bass
Ponies - Chords
Poor Little Robin - Chords
The Love She Found In Me - Chords
The Love She Found In Me - Ukulele
The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder - Chords
This Night Wont Last Forever - Chords
This Night Wont Last Forever (ver 2) - Chords
This Night Wont Last Forever - Ukulele
Whenever I Call You Friend - Chords
Whenever I Call You Friend - Ukulele

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  Black Orpheus
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-23-2022, 11:28 AM - Forum: MJ YouTube - No Replies

audio

https://youtu.be/MoZjrU33HZo

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  1981 concert review
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-20-2022, 12:38 PM - Forum: mjblue.com Updates - No Replies

Title: Thank you, Michael . . . .
Venue: Bemidji High School Auditorium - January 23, 1981
Review: Christine Peterson, Features Editor, Northern Student


He walked onto the stage, sat on a stool, and without a word to the audience,began to play his guitar. After singing his first song, the Bemidji High School auditorium's walls echoed with wild cheering from the audience. Ironically, Michael Johnson's first spoken words at Friday evening's concert were "thank you. " No , Michael, it's the other way around—thank you!

Throughout the 90 minute performace, Johnson kept the audience entertained with his slection of songs franging from bittersweet ballads to good time folk tunes. Another personal dimension to the concert were Johnson's witty ad humorous comments interspersed between his songs.

Johnson sang many of his hit tunes, including "Circle of Fifths," "There Is a Breeze," and by audience request, "25 Words."

Laugher filled the air when Johnson treated the crowd with his "Wonderful World of Sex," and "Drop the Big One Now." He then moved to play his famous Top 40 hit, "Bluer Than Blue," which warmed the audience's heart and made his top notch performance complete.

As Johnson neared the end of his performance, the crowd begged for more, and they got it. He took onto the stage for a final encore, spurred on by the overwhelming response from the audience. After his final song for the evening, many fans cheered and screamecd for several minutes after Johnson had left the stage. When interviewed offstage, Johnson is the same person he portrays when performing—down-to-earth, witty, and friendly. Wearing his faded blue jeans, sweatshirt and hiking boots, Johnson revealed his feelings about the many aspects of his life as a performer.

When Johnson is on the road, there are many different sides of performing which he values but, for him, people are the main factor behind a successful or unsuccessful road trip. "You value instant friendships—becaues in three or four hours, I meet people that I just wouldn't get the chance to meet," Johnson said. "Usually I don't remember names and stuff the next time around, but if you need some help and somebody you don't know helps you, 'thank you' really helps mean something. But if you need some help and somebody you don't know doesn't help you, 'to hell with you' really means something. Everything is increased in value when you're dealing with people."

Before going out to perform in front of an audience, Johnson, like every other star, has his own way of psyching himself up for the performance. "I usually warm-up unti I really want to play and then I quit. It's like being my own opening act. I don't practice scales or anything."

There are many acts when Johnson gets stage fright. "The hardest thing to do is to get on stage when you don't want to get on stage," Johnson admitted. "It's frustrating—putting all the things together with the show, and when it doesn't happen right, and everything's the 'before-show nightmare,' it's not worth it sometimes."

Judging from Johnson's tell-tale happiness, a person can see that performing is worth it for him. He admits he wouldn't have it any other way. "I've said sometimes I really wish I had a 9-5 job, but I know if I did, I'd really envy what I do now."

In between concert performances, Johnson escapes at home. What does he do in his spare time? "Well, right now I'm paneling trhe downstairs bathroom," Johnson laughed. He enjoys his solitude in his Minnetonka home, and spends his free time by playing with nine-month-old baby boy, Stan, and his dog. Occasionally he throws a frisbee around and admits to watching some TV. Most of his songwriting is done at home.

When dealing with public recognition, Johnson has no complaints. He is not mobbed by screaming fans yet. But Johnson does enjoy recognition—he feels flattered and honored by the public's questions. When asked if he gets hassled by the public, Johnson replied, "No, it's kind of nice. I'm not Billy Joel. I'm not that rich and famous. But they do recognize me at Ridgedale in Minneapolis."

Among other stars, Johnson has performed with singer Anne Murray, and rock bands Spiro Gyra and Blood, Sweat, and Tears. He is currently under the management of a new producer, Steve Buckingham, who also produces Melissa Manchester and Dionne Warwick's music. Johnson is working on his third album which he hopes will contain many songs he has written.

To improve his performance in the future, Johnson would like to write more of his own music and he also wants to be a freer performer on stage. He doesn't have grandiose goals the way many performers do, such as fame ahd fortune. Johnson looks at his performing future realistically. "I certainly don't put myself on a parallel with Hemingway but he said that a writer should always be a little bit tired, a little bit cold, a little bit hungry, and la little bit poor—because everything mean more."


[Image: bemidji.jpg]

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  many updates
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-15-2022, 02:51 PM - Forum: mjblue.com Updates - No Replies

After working on Lonnie Knight's article conversion, I started doing a bunch of Michael's.
New articles at:

Singer Yearns for Recording Studio

Passage to Success Difficult for Johnson 

Michael Johnson presents his 40th anniversary concert

Concert reviews:
Crowd is Small, But Mitchell Trio Gives Entertaining Show
Civic Auditorium, Emporia, KS - March 20, 1968
T.C.L., The Emporia Gazette - March 21, 1968


The Mitchell Trio performed before an embarrassingly small crowd at the Civic Auditorium Wednesday evening. The concert atmosphere resembled a casual gathering with only 150 Emporians attending. 

In spite of this, both the audience and the trio appeared to really enjoy the performance. "This is a good audience. We're really having a time," John Denver, leader of the group, said during an intermission. 

"So this is Emporia — gateway to Olpe and home of the feed lots," they quipped at the beginning of the show. Their boyish satire was directed at everyone from Lyndon Johnson to Lestor Maddox. "The '68 Nixon is different this year," they sang, "he can jump from left to right and not lose his place." 

The trio left the satirical theme occasionally in favor of ballads. Their best, "Leaving on a Jet Plane," was written by lead singer and composer John Denver, and tells of the pain of parter lovers. Peter, Paul and Mary and several other groups have recorded it recently. Mr. Denver's music is sung by the Pozo Seco Singers, Bob Dylan, and the Mamas and Papas. 

The nine-year old group is a product of the folk coffee houses that were popular in the early 1960's. In contrast to other groups in the folk-comedy range, the trio's humor was clever and their ballads were well written — thanks to the talents of Mr. Denver. 

In the area of serious protest songs the trio fell short. Their Pete Seeger-like numbers were feeble gestures against contemporary American conditions. "We Didn't Know" and "Business Goes on as Usual" failed to impress the listener with either the magnitude of German war crimes or the paradoxes of the Vietnam conflict. 

When not singing of world problems — out of character in white shark-skin suits — the trio displayed expert showmanship and musical talent. 

Two numbers by Mike Johnson, guitarist, were particular examples of accomplished skill. His second piece "Will I Ever Catch Another Butterfly" transmitted the fear of a man growing old. Paul Prestopino, accompanist, played a perfect folk banjo solo. 

The concert was sponsored by Union Activities Council at Kansas State Teachers College. The council assures entertainers of a set fee regardless of attendance. 


Title:
Venue:
Review:
Johnson Appears at Chanhassen
Chanhassen Dinner Theater - Chanhassen, MN - March 28, 1971
Scott Bartell, Minnesota Daily, March 29, 1971


Mike Johnson, a young singer-songwriter who lives and works in the Twin Cities area, appeared in concert at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. 

His show was interesting and enjoyable, and his style was definitely his own unique blend of various elements — but the evening just didn't seem to take me anywhere; the sense of "getting off" was mostly not there. 

It is hard to say why; certainly his technique and mannerisms can't be faulted in the least. His voice sounds rather like a fuller James Taylor: mellow, clean, relaxed. His guitar work, using mostly a classical guitar, is strong sophisticated enough to keep me interested, based on classical guitar methods but employing Latin rhythms and jazz chords. He speaks directly to the audience in a friendly but low-key way, and throws in some funny lines from time to time. 

The material itself was also consistently good. The best part of it was borrowed from other sources, ranging from such things as "I Sure Dig Sex" written by a close (but crazy) friend, to three classical guitar pieces, played with much skill and feeling. 

All of these, especially the classical pieces (for which he seems very qualified) and the Jacques Brel compositions, were pleasing to the ear. But I wanted more from his songs, which I wsa hearing for the first time. 

Johnson is a better performer, especially a better guitarist, than he is a songwriter. This is perhaps a rather big decision to make on the basis of one hearing, particularly as it was rumored that Johnson was not feeling at his best that evening. I certainly hope to hear him again, but I was a trifle disappointed with his own songs. 


Title:
Venue:
Review:
Crowd's Reaction Carried a Message
Guthrie Theater - Mpls, MN - June 4, 1974
Roy M. Close, Minneapolis Star


Singer-guitarist Michael Johnson, who presented a pair of concerts last night at the Guthrie Theater, is an interesting performer who has never quite developed into an exciting one. 

That point was emphasized about three-quarters of the way through the first of Johnson's Walker Art Center-sponsored concerts. After more than 90 minutes of solo performing, Johnson brought two sidemen — Mark Henley and Ted Sherman — to the stage for the final half-hour or so of his show. 

The effect was astonishing. Johnson's intensely personal vocalism and sophisticated guitar playing gave way immediately to a much more elemental, foot-stamping sort of music — music characterized by looseness and energy rather than attention to detail — and the audience, which had been applauding politely up to that point, responded with long, loud ovations after each song. 

What this segment of his set forcefully suggested is that Johnson must significantly change his approach to performing if he hopes ever to capture more than a small, faithful following. 

His principal strength — his exceptionally fine guitar playing — is all too clearly offset by his weaknesses, including an evident preference for message-heavy songs and an undistinguished (although pleasant) voice. 

Johnson is not an especially gifted stylist, and therefore needs to choose his material more carefully than he did last night. Songs such as "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," which he delivered unconvincingly, not only demand greater interpretive skills than Johnson brings to them but invite comparisons with other singers' interpretations. 

Better suited to his abilities are songs like "Here Comes the Sun," which provide ample opportunities for instrumental embellishment but make comparatively few vocal demands. Johnson gave it an excellent performance. 

All of the trio numbers, of course, fell into that category. In each case, the almost uncomfortable intensity that typifies much of Johnson's solo vacalism was muted by the addition of two other voices, while his stylish guitar work remained an instrumental focus. 

Notably, the songs presented by Johnson with Henley and Sherman tended to be spirited, uptempo and broadly comic — in sharp contrast to those he presented as a soloist, which tended to be more personal but less stirring. 

The audience's reaction seemed almsot one of relief. And not without reason: After 90 minutes of admiring music that is artful but not exciting, it's nice to hear something that invites excitement. 


There Is a Breeze review:
The Montgomery Advertiser - Montgomery, Alabama

Novmeber 18, 1973

By Jim Metro 

Michael Johnson's voice sounds a lot like Don McLean's ("American Pie") but it's more trained, like his guitar playing. 



But "There Is a Breeze" (Atco) is not a stiff album. Johnson mixes a mildly bluesy song he wrote called "Happier Days" with tunes by acknowledged smiths like Biff Rose, Jackson Browne, Jacques Brel and Rodgers and Hammerstein. 


There's a catchy tune called "On the Road" that ran continuously through this reviewer's head for 3 straight days. Johnson stuffed the album with a little someting for everybody, including a piece called "Study in E Minor" for serious music buffs. He's not a carbon copy.

New photo:
[Image: trio.jpg]

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  1974 concert review (well, I loved it)
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-14-2022, 11:53 AM - Forum: Michael Discussion - No Replies

Crowd's Reaction Carried a Message
Guthrie Theater - Mpls, MN - June 4, 1974
Roy M. Close, Minneapolis Star


Singer-guitarist Michael Johnson, who presented a pair of concerts last night at the Guthrie Theater, is an interesting performer who has never quite developed into an exciting one.

That point was emphasized about three-quarters of the way through the first of Johnson's Walker Art Center-sponsored concerts. After more than 90 minutes of solo performing, Johnson brought two sidemen — Mark Henley and Ted Sherman — to the stage for the final half-hour or so of his show.

The effect was astonishing. Johnson's intensely personal vocalism and sophisticated guitar playing gave way immediately to a much more elemental, foot-stamping sort of music — music characterized by looseness and energy rather than attention to detail — and the audience, which had been applauding politely up to that point, responded with long, loud ovations after each song.

What this segment of his set forcefully suggested is that Johnson must significantly change his approach to performing if he hopes ever to capture more than a small, faithful following.

His principal strength — his exceptionally fine guitar playing — is all too clearly offset by his weaknesses, including an evident preference for message-heavy songs and an undistinguished (although pleasant) voice.

Johnson is not an especially gifted stylist, and therefore needs to choose his material more carefully than he did last night. Songs such as "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," which he delivered unconvincingly, not only demand greater interpretive skills than Johnson brings to them but invite comparisons with other singers' interpretations.

Better suited to his abilities are songs like "Here Comes the Sun," which provide ample opportunities for instrumental embellishment but make comparatively few vocal demands. Johnson gave it an excellent performance.

All of the trio numbers, of course, fell into that category. In each case, the almost uncomfortable intensity that typifies much of Johnson's solo vacalism was muted by the addition of two other voices, while his stylish guitar work remained an instrumental focus.

Notably, the songs presented by Johnson with Henley and Sherman tended to be spirited, uptempo and broadly comic — in sharp contrast to those he presented as a soloist, which tended to be more personal but less stirring.

The audience's reaction seemed almsot one of relief. And not without reason: After 90 minutes of admiring music that is artful but not exciting, it's nice to hear something that invites excitement.

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  Memorabilia page
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-14-2022, 12:53 AM - Forum: mjblue.com Updates - Replies (3)

Have finished the memorabilia page at https://mjblue.com/mjmemor.html

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  Denver, Boise & Johnson
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-12-2022, 01:13 PM - Forum: mjblue.com Updates - No Replies

Denver, Boise & Johnson material has been added to the Extras section:

https://mjblue.com/mjdbj.html

There are links to the full concerts (and an after concert party) on YouTube along with John's notes on almost every song and the three video songs.

I've taken the DB&J notes from John Marlowe's site at The Cincinnati Dancing Pigs and edited them with his consent. Both of us are still making minor changes. If you want to see notes and music about John Denver, visit his site. 

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  Hugh Prestwood & Michael: Prime Time Country
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-10-2022, 09:11 AM - Forum: MJ YouTube - No Replies

https://youtu.be/uFFaejx0MXI

Prime Time Country with Hugh Prestwood 1995. Songs: Ghost in This House (duet), The Song Remembers When (Hugh), The Moon is Still Over Her Shoulder (Michael)

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  Mark Henley's Passing
Posted by: Cindy M - 05-08-2022, 05:26 AM - Forum: Michael Discussion - No Replies

Mark Truman Henley, 75, passed away March 28, 2022. He was born October 6, 1946 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Truman and Lola Henley. Mark had a passion for music and after graduating from college worked as a musician and song writer. He also enjoyed the outdoors and worked in landscaping for a time.

Those left behind to cherish his memory are is wife of 44 years, Debra, and son Kyle.

Photo by Judy Weiser.

[Image: judyweiser6.jpg]

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