Johnny Adams

“The Tan Canary”

The Big Easy has spawned more than its fair share of musical offspring. But just being a native son does not guarantee success. One has to earn it. There are many who vocalize in R&B and blues, but not too many real soul singers. They have a tendency to get weeded out real quick.

Johnny Adams was a long-time regular on the New Orleans music scene, beginning with his 1959 rhythm and blues hit “I Won't Cry.” Adams, whose velvety voice could stretch into a high falsetto with ease, mastered a handful of musical styles, including gospel, blues, soul, jazz, and country. Over his nearly 40-year career, he recorded in these varied genres on a number of labels, yet he never reached the national stardom of some of his contemporaries. He performed largely in New Orleans, where he became a local legend.

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