Project Description

Johnny Darrell born on July 23, 1940 – October 7, 1997 was an American country music artist. Darrell was born in Hopewell, Alabama but grew up in Marietta, Georgia. After a stint in the army, he moved to Nashville and began managing a Holiday Inn near Music Row when he was discovered by Kelso Herstin, a producer working for United Artists, on the recommendation of Bobby Bare. In his recording career, Darrell established a trend of introducing “lyrically adventurous” songs that later became major hits for other artists

Johnny moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue his music career. He landed a day job as the manager at a Holiday Inn near Music Row; an area just a bit southwest of Downtown Nashville that houses hundreds of businesses related to the country, gospel, and Christian music industries. It was here that Johnny got the attention of United Artists producer Kelso Herston. He had heard about Johnny’s unique brand of songwriting and was immediately impressed. Johnny signed with UA as a country performer and released his first single in 1965, “Green Green Grass of Home.” Some of Johnny’s chart topping country hits were, “As Long as the Wind Blows,” “Dakota the Dancing Bear,“ “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” “Orange Blossom Special,” and “The Son of Hickory Holler’s Tramp.” He later released the single “Pen in Hand” and crossed over to the top of the pop charts. He was truly a multi-talented musician with his unique brand of lyrics, great vocals, and guitar skills.

By the 1970’s Johnny was a full-fledged member of the outlaw country movement, probably due to his being linked with Bobby Bare. He participated in an English concert celebrating the birthday of Opry magazine with Willie Nelson, Hank Snow, Nat Stuckey, and Wes Buchanan, fellow country music outlaws.Johnny Darrell passed away in October of 1997, at the age of 57 due to complications from diabetes.