The track you are listening to is 'Hey Ma' If you need to turn the volume down use the
tiny player at the bottom of the page or your computer
If you would like to leave a message,about Bob, please put it onto the Guestbook, I will then transfer your message to this page.~~Des
Robert (Bob) Johnson : Obituary Published in the Lancashire Evening Post on 13 May 2011
JOHNSON ROBERT (BOB) - Suddenly, but peacefully, surrounded by his family on Saturday, May 7 2011, aged 70 years. The dearly loved partner of Leonie, loving dad of Gary, David, Lisa and Emmalou, loving grandad of Katie. A much loved face within the music scene of the North West. A good friend to everyone who knew him in Chipping. He will be sadly missed by all. The funeral service will take place at Chipping Parish Church of St Bartholomew on Thursday, May 19 at 2pm. Family flowers only please, donations if so desired to MacMillan Cancer Support. Goodnight, God Bless. - All inquiries to William Houghton, Chapel Hill, Longridge, PR3 3JY. Tel: 01772 782291
Sadly I have to let you know that Bob Johnson passed away on Saturday May 7th 2011
I joined Bob Johnson and The Bobcats in 1960, I was totally impressed by the way he went about doing things and learned a lot from him, in fact I would go as far as saying Bob was the main inspiration to me, leading the life that I have.
He showed me how to be a 'pro' in many areas and I shall be eternally grateful for having the opportunity to work with him and learn from him. Bless you Bob.
Bob Johnson absolute Legend RIP
The following words are reproduced with kind permission from Bob's website and written by his son David who was also Bob's sound engineer.
A simple request: Rather than buy flowers could you please click on the link to give a donation: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BobJohnsonRIP
Bob Johnson, a legend in the music scene around Preston and Lancashire, passed away on Saturday the 7th of May 2011 aged 70. He was visiting relatives in Saint Andrews, Scotland when, on Sunday the 1st of May, he collapsed and was taken by ambulance to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee city. (Thank-you to all the Nursing staff, Doctors and Surgeons at Ninewells for all their tenderness and care) Bob's funeral service will be held at; Saint Bartholomew’s Parish Church, Chipping, on Thursday the 19th of May. If you would like to attend the service please do so, I’m sure Bob, ever the showman and entertainer, would love to know that even his passing drew a crowd. The dress code is very simple; wear what you like, the more summery and bright the better, but if you’re traditionalist and want to wear black that will also be fine, the important thing is; you’re there.
One thing Bob did have a passion for was bright and quirky socks, so even if you do come dressed in black mourning attire, try and sneak in some loud, bright socks, it’ll make you feel better and will be much appreciated. As a friend of mine put it “with people like Bob, you don’t mourn their passing at a time like this, you celebrate their life and achievements” and Bob lived life to the full and achieved so much. He never stopped writing and performing music right up until the very end. In-fact he performed his last gig along with co-performer and lifelong friend Phil Cool, only a few weeks ago at Chipping Village Hall on Sunday March 27 2011
It went down so well that he and Phil decided to do a mini tour which would be set in motion after Phil had undergone his operation. As we know now this will not come to pass, but the legacy and legend of Bob Johnson still lives on. To any musos’ reading this; there are about 20 songs on his website (link below) that can be freely downloaded and distributed either for your listening pleasure or to learn them and incorporate them into your own or bands gig list. Bob would be very proud to know that people appreciated his music to such a degree that they would want to perform it. This is one of the greatest compliments you could ever give a songwriter.
An all too brief history Bob was born and grew up around the Cadley area of Preston. In his early years he joined Saint David’s Church, Eldon Street. This is where he learned the art of singing. Although Bob was a natural singer with a good strong voice, the choir master at Saint David’s taught him breathing techniques and the importance of learning vocal scales and daily practice combined with warm-up techniques. As any singer knows; if you don’t warm-up first you run the risk damaging your vocal chords. Learning to use this God given musical talent, set him on a path that he would follow for the rest of his life. At about this time a thing called Rock and Roll was migrating across from the States to our soggy shores. The only way to get these recordings at the time was to order and/or import them yourself.
This along with the singing in Saint David’s’ Choir had a profound effect on young Bob and he used to take his collection of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Skiffle (a British interpretation of Rock ‘n’ Roll) records along with a portable record player (no iPods about yet) to a nearby field, where he would practice singing along to them. Once the music bug had bitten deeply, the only thing left to do was buy a guitar and learn to play along to the songs that had had such an influence on him.
Not a lot of people know this but Bob was an acute dyslexic. Rather than hindering him it actually contributed to his musical talent. Whereas people without dyslexia would read the words from the sheet, Bob found it easier to listen and commit them to memory. He became so good at this that he only had to listen to a song a couple of times and the melody and lyrics were absorbed and retained. This neat trick became especially useful when he discovered his song writing abilities.
Anyone who as ever tried to write a song will tell you that the lyrics and music flow from within at anytime, day or night, drunk or sober, tired or wide awake and more importantly with or without pen and paper. Not a problem for Bob, every song that he ever wrote was committed to memory, his ability to remember lyrics and music right up the end was astounding.
The link to Bob's site is: http://bobjohnsonandthebobcats.co.uk/
Bob Johnson RIP
When it’s time to leave the world as we know it, one thing is certain. Although character influences decisions, your choices and legacy are what will live on.
This is certainly true in the case of Bob Johnson, lead singer of the Bobcats, who passed away on Saturday 7th May. The Bobcats, formed in Preston in 1956, represented a traditional attitude of folk from Lancashire- Everything’s gonna be alright. They also stood for the power of great music being able to stand the test of time and distance. Back in the 50’s the dream was simple- to broadcast good rock n’ roll to get listeners moving and swaying- although Johnson was also a member of other bands The Lune Street Gas Band, Smokey Joe and Bush Country.
The 60’s saw the band scoring more gigs and Preston’s earliest clubs becoming popular. Clive Kelly, club owner of the Catacombs Club remembers: ‘’Bob and the boys established the club, which had flooded alleys and stabling into a thriving rhythm and blues venue.’’ The Catacombs Club also saw Eric Clapton and Elton John play in their early days but as Robb Shenton notes; ‘’The Bob Johnson show was fantastic. He went on for hours- each song better than the last… his sound is still as fresh as a daisy.’’
In 1977 the band arrived in London with the intent to finally put their catalogue onto disk. Armed with great tracks such as 'Soaring and Flying' and ’Nothin’ but the Whisky’ the Chapel Recording Studios in Wimbledon produced the album 'Chapel Sessions'. The act of naming albums after the recording location was a habit that continued- the final 1990’s album 'Cool Garage' being recorded mainly in the garage of Phil Cool, a stand-up comedian who performed onstage with the band. The sound was complimented with lyrics which conveyed ironic nuances of day-to-day life.
Also a great friend of Bob, Cool was to be present at the last gig played in March.2011 Described as a ‘’sell-out’’ the old hits along with newer sounds where presented to a satisfied crowd who revelled in a moment untouched by modern-day trends.
The sounds of Bob Johnson and the Bobcats were, for many, a background track to their lives. Johnson personally made numerous friends over the years who will remember him for the true legend he was. Des O’Reilly, who joined the band in the 60’s said, on hearing the news of his passing, ‘’I would go as far to say as Bob was the main inspiration to me, leading the life I have. He showed me how to be a pro in many areas and I shall be eternally grateful for having the opportunity to work with him and learn from him.’’
Bob Johnson will be sorely missed. He knew of the power of great music and could tell stories that could keep a room enthralled for hours. All who knew him will credit a life well lived.
Sources: The Bobcats website, Lancashire Evening Post, Des O’Reilly website, lankybeat.com
Reproduced from Hausdigital website author Tess Webb
Bob Johnson and The Bobcats Left to Right Dave Millen, Bob Johnson, Des O'Reilly and Daz Smith
I'm extremely happy to share this pic... It was taken in 1967 and as far as I'm aware it's the only pic I've ever seen with me and Bob both in the picture..
Bob Johnson and The Bobcats 2010 next to last gig.in November 2010
Bob Johnsons funeral at St Bartholomews Church, Chipping
Published on Friday 20 May 2011 17:52 by The Lancashire Evening Post.
One of Preston’s brightest stars shone for the final time yesterday as the city’s musical community said goodbye to our very first rock and roller.
Mourners at the funeral of rocker Bob Johnson – who fronted Bob Johnson and the Bobcats, Preston’s first ever rock and roll band – were asked to wear brightly coloured socks, as he himself always did, at his funeral in the packed out St Bartholomew’s Church, Chipping. After the service, his family and friends, including TV comic Phil Cool, whose career Bob, 70, helped to kickstart by urging him to do open slots with the Bobcats, escorted his flower-decked wicker coffin in procession to his grave.
Phil, who was determined to attend despite recently having a quadruple heart bypass, has described Bob as his, “best friend in the world” adding: “He was a great man and there won’t be a day goes by when I won’t miss him. We’ll not see his like again.”
Leading the mourners were his partner Leonie, their daughter Emmalou, and his children from his first marriage, David, Gary and Lisa. Comic Cool spoke at the service, telling how Bob encouraged him after seeing him do a John Wayne impression.
Bobcats guitarist Keith Dalton also gave a moving rendition of the poem, A Star In The Void and youngest daughter Emmalou also paid tribute to her father.
Bob, who grew up in Cadley and Ashton and joined Eldon Street’s St David’s Church Choir as a boy, founded the Bobcats in the early 1950s. He stood on the verge of national fame in the 1970s when he won TV talent show Opportunity Knocks with another outfit, The Lune Street Gas Band. But, unimpressed with the terms, he rejected the offer. Bob went on to found well-known local bands including Bush Country and Cool Garage and performed his last show as a double bill with the reformed Bobcats with Phil Cool in his home village of Chipping on March 27, just weeks before he died on May 7. His big personality ensured he was always a star on his home turf and he met people he knew wherever he went.
An acute dyslexic, he learned to commit songs to his remarkable memory, which helped him greatly when he began song writing.
One fan of Bob’s music, who went to pay his respects, said: “The church was absolutely packed out, it was standing room only. It was fitting because, when Bob started in the 1950s and 1960s, his band really were a cut above... They were the best in Preston"
Here is an Email I received from Dave Morris DAVE 09:09 PM on July 09, 2011 I finally received the DVD of BUSH COUNTRY performance at "Big Draw Rock Club" aka "The Club Royal", Market Street, Preston in 1976. The original was filmed by a good friend of mine, Barry Jackson. It was filmed on pre-vhs equipment in black and white. The Quality is as good as we can get seeing the age ALMOST 40 YEARS. Line up is as follows :- BOB JOHNSON vocals TONY WRIGHT Lead Guitar, backing vocals ALEX LEYLAND Guitar,Mandolin,Violin, backing vocals PETE MORRIS Drums DAVE "DAZ" SMITH Steel Guitar and Bass Guitar DAVE MORRIS Guitar and Bass Guitar PADDY BROWN Keyboards Many thanks to my buddy MICK JORDAN for posting on YOUTUBE You can find them on tw28st If you look closely you will see WALLY "the Roadie" and hear the voice of DARRYL EDWARDS ...D.J. and MC hope y'all enjoy P.S. I must admit to feeling quite emotional watching these especially now we have lost both BOB and PADDY. It was a pleasure to be in the band and you can see what fun we had. And MY GOODNESS didn't we ROCK DAVE MORRIS
09:09 PM on July 09, 2011 I finally received the DVD of BUSH COUNTRY performance at "Big Draw Rock Club" aka "The Club Royal", Market Street, Preston in 1976.
The original was filmed by a good friend of mine, Barry Jackson.
It was filmed on pre-vhs equipment in black and white.
The Quality is as good as we can get seeing the age ALMOST 40 YEARS.
Line up is as follows :- BOB JOHNSON vocals
TONY WRIGHT Lead Guitar, backing vocals
ALEX LEYLAND Guitar,Mandolin,Violin, backing vocals
PETE MORRIS Drums
DAVE "DAZ" SMITH Steel Guitar and Bass Guitar
DAVE MORRIS Guitar and Bass Guitar
PADDY BROWN Keyboards
Many thanks to my buddy MICK JORDAN for posting on YOUTUBE
You can find them on tw28st
If you look closely you will see WALLY "the Roadie" and hear the voice of DARRYL EDWARDS ...D.J. and MC
hope y'all enjoy
P.S. I must admit to feeling quite emotional watching these especially now we have lost both BOB and PADDY. It was a pleasure to be in the band and you can see what fun we had. And MY GOODNESS didn't we ROCK