General Johnson

Leader of Chairmen of the Board and a top R&B songwriter/producer as well, General Johnson enjoyed a long career stretching from his debut during the mid-'50s glory days of R&B to his status as a turn-of-the-century beach music icon. Born and raised in the seaside city of Norfolk, VA, Johnson began singing in church with his father at the age of six, and made his recording debut at 12 when his group the Humdingers recorded a few unreleased sides for Atlantic. Several years later, after a change of name to the Showmen, Johnson and the group moved to the New Orleans hit factory Minit for the 1961 rock & roll anthem "It Will Stand." The single charted both in 1961 and 1964, but the Showmen only recorded a dozen sides for Minit and Swan before breaking up in 1968.