BOB JOHNSTON (A.k.a. Don Johnston.)

Born Donald Robert Johnston, 14 May 1932, Hillsboro, Texas

Bob Johnston is one of the most successful producers of the sixties and seventies. But he couldn't make it as a performing artist. Johnston comes from a musical family. His grandmother, Mamie Jo Adams, wrote "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and his mother, Diane Johnston, wrote songs for Gene Autry and her "Miles and Miles Of Texas" became a hit for Asleep At The Wheel. When Johnston came out of the Navy, he lived in Fort Worth where he collaborated with his mother on songs for Mac Curtis, including "I'll Be Gentle" and "My Very Special Baby". Bob wrote "You Ain't Treatin' Me Right", possibly Mac Curtis' most popular King record, all by himself. He sent a fistful of demos to New York publisher Robert Mellin, who introduced Johnston to Mercury A&R man Clyde Otis. In 1956, Otis took Johnston into the studio to cut the rockabilly number "Born To Love One Woman", which was released on Mercury 70991, with credit (both singer and writer) going to Don Johnston. It was covered by Ric Cartey on RCA in 1957. Johnston had further records on Chic, Dot (including the rocker "I'm Hypnotised", written by Bob and his mum) and Algonquin. His last single as an artist was "Flat Tire" in 1961.

By the early sixties, Johnston had moved into production work at Kapp Records and was also signed to Hill & Range as a songwriter. By 1965 he had moved to Columbia, where he produced such famous albums as "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde" (both by Bob Dylan), "Sounds Of Silence" (Simon & Garfunkel) and "Johnny Cash At San Quentin". He also worked with Marty Robbins, The Byrds, Leonard Cohen, The Statler Brothers, Willie Nelson, Doug Kershaw, Aretha Franklin and the Earl Scruggs Revue (among others) and half of the tracks on "Go Cat Go", Carl Perkins's last successful album, were produced and mixed by Bob Johnston.

Johnston's version of "Born To Love One Woman" is on "That'll Flat Git It, Vol. 11" (Bear Family BCD 16101), devoted to Mercury Records.

 
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