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Johnny Rivers

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Johnny Rivers (born John Henry Ramistella on November 7, 1942 in New York City) is an American rock and roll singer, songwriter, guitarist, and record producer.
He was versatile enough to do folk songs, blues, covers of old-time Rock n’ roll songs, and some original material, all of them in his own unique style. Rivers’s greatest success came in the mid and late 1960s with a string of hit songs (including “Seventh Son,” “Poor Side of Town” and “Secret Agent Man”) but he has continued to record and perform to the present.

In 1960, Rivers met fellow Louisianan, James Burton, the guitar player for Ricky Nelson. Burton later recommended one of Rivers’s songs to Nelson, who went on to record it. In 1961, Rivers went to Los Angeles to meet Nelson, and ended up relocating there, working as a song writer and studio musician. In 1963, Rivers’s big break came when he temporarily filled in for a jazz combo at Bill Gazzari’s night club; the temporary gig became long-term due to positive customer response.

In 1964, Elmer Valentine then gave Rivers a one-year contract to open his new club, Whisky a Go Go, on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. The Whisky opened three days before The Beatles released “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and the British Invasion knocked almost every American artist off the top of the charts. But Rivers was so popular, producer Lou Adler decided to issue Johnny Rivers Live At The Whiskey A Go Go. The live album reached #12 on the charts and the single “Memphis” (a Chuck Berry cover) reached #2.

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