Johnny Adams (January 5, 1932 - September 14, 1998) was a highly acclaimed soul, R&B, blues, jazz, and gospel singer with expressive, soaring vocals and a spine-tingling multi-octave range who became famous during the late 1960s. He is best known for his soulful, imploring rendition of the Margaret Lewis/Mira Smith-penned country ballad, "Reconsider Me" (1969), as well as his memorable covers of various other traditional pop and country standards.
Born Laten John Adams, Jr. in New Orleans, Louisiana, he began his professional career in the 1950s singing gospel with the Soul Revivers and Bessie Griffin's Consolators before switching to secular music in 1959. Adams had his first hit locally with the Dorothy Labostrie-penned ballad, "Oh Why" (later retitled "I Won't Cry"), produced by the then-teenaged Mac Rebennack (a.k.a. Dr. John) on the Ric label. Adams recorded several more singles for Ric over the next three years, most of which were produced by Rebennack or Eddie Bo. His first song to chart nationally came in 1961 with the ballad, "Closer To You," a minor hit on Cash Box.
Johnny Adams debuted in 1962 on both the Pop/Rock and R&B charts with "A Losing Battle," a ballad co-written by Rebennack and John Dauenhauer. He had his greatest hit in 1969 with "Reconsider Me," which made the R&B Top 10 and Pop/Rock Top 40. Other songs for which he became famous include his bluesy, gospel-influenced cover of the 1949 Eddie Miller/Robert Yount-penned pop standard, "Release Me" (1968), previously a top hit for Engelbert Humperdinck, Ray Price, and several other artists. Adams' hits, which continued on both charts through 1970, also include "I Can't Be All Bad" (1969) and "I Won't Cry" (1970), the latter a re-release of his first regional hit. He had one final hit on the R&B charts in 1978 with a cover of Conway Twitty's "After All The Good Is Gone."
Adams performed and recorded actively to the late 1990s before losing his battle with prostate cancer in 1998. His many recordings include a series of critically acclaimed albums released on Rounder Records beginning with "From The Heart" (1984) through "Man Of My Word" (1998) covering jazz, blues, and R&B.
- The Independent remembers New Orleans soul great Johnny Adams.
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- Reconsider Me 1969
(This song later also became a hit for Narvel Felts (1975).)
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