The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

back to profile

Johnnie Johnson


Johnnie Johnson is born.


Needing a replacement for an ailing saxophonist for a New Year’s Eve show, pianist/bandleader Johnnie Johnson calls a guitar-playing acquaintance named Chuck Berry.


Chuck Berry records “Maybellene” – an uptempo rewrite of the country-flavored “Ida Red” – with pianist Johnnie Johnson, bass player Willie Dixon and drummer Jasper Thomas. It is the first of Berry’s many hits for Chess Records.


The rock and roll classic “Johnny B. Goode,” written by Chuck Berry about pianist/sidekick Johnnie Johnson, makes the Top Ten.


After 20 years, Johnnie Johnson pianist leaves Chuck Berry’s band.


Johnnie Johnson is part of the all-star band that backs Chuck Berry at a concert at St. Louis’s Fox Theater in celebration of Berry’s 60th birthday. The concert is the basis for the documentary film, ‘Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll!,’ released in 1988.


Johnnie Johnson releases the first solo album of his lengthy career, ‘Blue Hand Johnnie.’


Johnnie Johnson’s third solo album, ‘Johnnie B. Bad,’ finds the piano great backed by Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and NRBQ.


Johnnie Johnson is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the sixteenth annual induction dinner. Keith Richard is his presenter.


A multi-count lawsuit against Chuck Berry is filed on behalf of pianist Johnny Johnson. It seeks a share of royalties for Johnson, who allegedly co-composed numerous hit songs with Berry that have heretofore been credited to Berry alone.


Johnnie Johnson passes away at the age of 80.