Soul Fantasy

Friday, January 22, 2010

Karvin Johnson

First of all I would like to thank Karvin Johnson for his help and for his collaboration.

Karvin Johnson was born in Baton Rouge, Lousiana. He was the lead singer in a band called "Group Fusion". Also he was member of several choirs and local corner groups in Monrovia, California. They performed mainly at talent shows, back yard parties and school assembles. All the local groups would battle for first place in the talent competitions.
Later Karvin Johnson met Gregory Coleman through a Motown songwriter/producer Kenny Thomas. Kenny Thomas was the manager/producer of "Group Fusion". Then Kenny formed the group called "Licorise". Karvin Johnson and Gregory Coleman were singing for the group.
Greg Coleman reconnected with James King Jr. at some point. So Karvin met James and they started getting together and jamming and decided to start writing together.
Later the group “Licorice” was disbanded and Karvin, Greg and James decided doing something else musically. They sang together and decided to put a band together. They started to perform their own songs and they added other members. They became best friends and they began to create music together for days and countless hours. So they formed the group called “Halo”.
They recorded several songs for the album between two studios, KSR Studios in Hollywood and 54 East in Pasadena, CA. They chose to release a 45 single entitled “Let me do it / How you ever felt that feeling” to first get the attention of the majors and hopefully get some airplay in order to make some money to complete.

The musicians were James King Jr on Guitar, John Flowers on Bass, Moses Ingersol on Drums, Rudy Jacobs on Lead Guitar, James Gadson on Drums, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs on some vocals, the horn section from Bohannon and Calhoun from the Gap Band on Percussion. Lead vocals by Karvin Johnson, Walter Lykes and Greg Coleman. Produced by Halo and Lawrence Hilton Jacobs. Lawrence Hilton Jacobs was friend with Karvin Johnson. The original band members were James King Jr., Gregory Coleman, Karvin Johnson, Rudy Jacobs, John Flowers, Moses Ingersol and Walter Lykes.

The 7 inch didn’t sell because they had problems with distribution. Then the album was never released because they ran out of money.
They did lots of shows, clubs and festivals the LA club circuit. They had a great time performing live. One of the night clubs in Los Angeles was owned by the famous Chambers Brothers.
At the last 10 years in the U.K's underground Modern Soul scene the song "Let me do it" is one of the most in-demand dance floor. Until last year, there had only been a handful of know copies of this incredible early-80's glorious mid-tempo 45". Copies were changing hands for between £ 1000 to £ 2000.

After Halo he met Freddie Perren a song writer and mega producer through Lewis Peters who was a great friend and Motown staff engineer. He helped him perform lead and background vocals for the big named artists he would produce, such as The Spinners, Tavares, Teddy Pendergrass, The Mighty Clouds of Joy and others.
Then he met a producer by the name of Sam Brown who was looking for a singer to complete his group Gemini. He sang for him along with new singing partner Fred Sawyers and started recording the album. They recorded an album entitled "Rising" in 1981 and released on M&M Records. The album sold around 400,000 copies or more and is a classic collector’s record to date.

It was recorded at The Mom and Pops Company Store Inc., Studios "A" and "E", Studio City,CA. The musicians were Sam Brown III, Sony Burke and Ric Wyatt,Jr. on keyboards, Bob "Boogie" Bowles, Wah-Wah Watson, Paul Jackson,Jr. and Chuck Pierce on guitars, Cornelius "Hot Lix" Mims on bass, James Gadson and Ed Greene on drums, Paulinho Da Costa and Sam Brown III on percussion.
Harry Kim, David Strout, Curt Sletten, Charlie Davis and Joel Peskin (sax solo) on horns. Background Vocals by Petsie Powell, Alfie Silas, Gwen Evans, Cindy Westphal, Fred Sawyers, Karvin Jonhson, Marti McCall, Alex Brown, Sharryl Brousard & Kipper Jones. Produced by Sam Brown III.
I have chosen two tracks entitled "The Power of your love" and "(Everytime I see) a pretty lady".

After Gemini, Karvin helped Fred Sawyers start a new record label called ‘Peachtown Records’. Peabo Bryson was between deals and was to be the first artist on the indie label.
Also note that Karvin was involved as Post Production Coordinator on the Infinity album in 1984 entitled "Spread the word".
Later he started an entertainment newspaper called ‘The Atlanta Rhythm Times’. From there he started a artist marketing, management, promotions and distribution company to service indie artist. The distribution company is called KES Music and Video Distribution and the marketing company is called National Marketing which are both managed by his wife Lori Taylor Johnson and himself

* Karvin Johnson as solo artist released record 45" on Marshall Records entitled "If You Let Me / I Will Love You For The Rest Of My Life".

** In 1986 Karvin teamed up with Ronnie McNeir (Today Ronnie is permanent member of Four Tops) releasing a single entitled “I Don't Need No Doctor” on Marshal Records for South Shore Productions and distributed by Macola Record Company.

Note: # Biography was provided by Karvin himself

## The above posted tracks are not played in full

1 comment:

Tonton D├ęcibel !!! said...
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