Tuesday, July 1, 2014

R.I.P.: Johnny Mann

Johnny Mann, who won two Grammy Awards as leader of the clean-cut easy-listening vocal group the Johnny Mann Singers, died on June 18, 2014. He was 85.

In the 1960s and ’70s, as rock ’n’ roll exerted itself as the driver of a rebellious youth culture, Mr. Mann represented a stolid old guard, musically speaking. With their gently driven rhythms and tightly controlled harmonies, Eisenhower-era hairdos and neatly natty attire, the Johnny Mann Singers were well scrubbed and tone perfect, recording more than 30 albums of college songs, Christmas songs, patriotic songs, Beatles songs and familiar tunes spanning several musical eras, from “Ol’ Man River” to “Chattanooga Choo Choo” to “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “Mrs. Robinson.”

Along with Lawrence Welk, Mitch Miller, Ray Conniff and other bandleaders who offered popular melodies in palatable choral arrangements, Mr. Mann helped define a musical genre that was potently counter-countercultural. MORE HERE

The Johnny Mann Singers : Sixties Mann

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