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Sammy Johns


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Like a lot of musicians, Johns started young. When he was nine, his father presented him with a guitar. By the time he was a teenager in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, he had established his own band, the Devilles. The group performed in local clubs and cut a few records on the Dixie record label. Shifting to Atlanta, he began to make a name for himself and snagged a recording contract in 1973. General Recording Corporation put out Johns’ first solo record, “Early Morning Love,” the following year.

Although he wrote a number of hit songs for other artists, Johns is best remembered for the one he recorded himself, “Chevy Van”, a song about a loose-loving man who picks up a woman while he’s on the road, struck a chord with listeners in the sexually liberated 1970s when Johns released it mid-decade. His mellow and easy style made love that was free and easy seem natural when he sang, “We made love in my Chevy van, and that’s all right with me.” The singer/songwriter sold more than three million copies in 1975, and the single climbed to #5 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

After his eponymous debut album on the GRC record label (General Recording Corporation), which included “Chevy Van,” the singer inked a deal in 1976 with Warner-Curb, which resulted in Johns working on the soundtrack to The Van, the first film to feature Danny DeVito.


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  • Machiventa

    Damn, sad to hear he passed away. Now I really want that Chevy van!!

    18 Jan 2013 Reply
  • evanisreallyok


    12 Jan 2013 Reply
  • pcghcbz

    I don't think it has been released yet, but Sammy Johns died last night at the age of 66. RIP Sammy.

    6 Jan 2013 Reply
  • OdeTooJoy

    i <3 chevy van

    20 May 2010 Reply
  • SSBlackbeard3

    I wanted a customized van when this song came out ☺

    27 Dec 2009 Reply
  • bloodshotforget

    Right you are saveall. I'll leave Sammy a shout. That music like this is being forgotten is like the history that is not being taught in the schools. Jeez, do we ever remember the good stuff anymore?

    15 Dec 2009 Reply
  • Saveall

    No shouts? Man, how many babies were made and Chevy vans sold because of this song? THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS!!

    20 Jun 2009 Reply

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