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Song of the day – 199: Chairmen Of The Board

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R.I.P. General Johnson, 1943-2010

He was a great soul singer, with a killer soul voice. Bought a Greatest Hits of his inspirational Chairmen Of The Board in the early 80s, never regretted it. The Virginia singer was clearly a massive influence upon Kevin Rowland, among others – one listen to Chairman Of The Board’s classic Northern Soul floor-shaker ‘Give Me Just A Little More Time’ will prove that.

What I didn’t realise until recently, however, was that General Johnson also fronted the totally ace Minit Records soul combo, The Showmen (listening to them now, back-to-back with Chairmen Of The Board, it’s fairly obvious). Man, they were great! Warm humour and a deep, slightly cracked burr of a voice, and sweet harmonies and the gentlest of beats.

Finally, a rare treat for you all. General Johnson duetting with Joey Ramone on ‘Rockaway Beach’ with the Godchildren Of Soul. I kid you not! And it’s great!

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