Johnnie Johnson Blues and Jazz

Did you ever wonder who “Johnny B. Goode” was?

The creator. The originator. The instigator. The father of it all! Rock n’roll!

What does that famous Chuck Berry song have to do with this Marion County-specific blog?

johnnie5L  Johnnie Johnson was born in Fairmont, WV,  July 8, 1924 and went on to work arm-in-arm with Chuck Berry for more than 20 years. Together, they put    rock’n’roll on the music map.

The Sir Johnson Trio, Johnnie’s first band, was set to play New Years Eve in 1952 when one of the three suffered a stroke. Looking for a last-minute replacement,    Johnson knew one rookie who wouldn’t have a gig.

After giving Berry his start, Johnson and he played together until well into the 90’s.

Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

A much younger and contemporary festival in Marion County, the Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Festival in Palatine Park boasts national recording artists as well as local and regional musicians who have graced the stage.

The festival honors what Johnson devoted his life to: jazz, blues, and rock n’ roll.  In past festivals, bands from New York, Texas and Illinois have come to p(l)ay tribute to the legend and his homeland.  A few artists such as Paul Geremia, Roddy Barnes, KWT Blues Band, and Bill Stalnaker and the Nightmoves have shared their takes on Johnson’s favorite genres.

Find out who comes to celebrate the original rock n’ roll idol this year!  We’ll see you there!

13th Annual Johnnie Johnson Blues and Jazz Festival 2014 at Palatine Park


  Saturday July 5, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

   Sunday July 6, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.




Blog author: Leah Nestor

Blog author: Leah Nestor

To learn more about Johnnie:

  • visit
  • visit the Johnnie Johnson Blues and Jazz Festival
  • read his biography Father of Rock and Roll: The Story of Johnnie B. Goode Johnson

watch the concert documentary Hail! Hail! Rock n’Roll!

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