Syl Johnson


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Birth Date
Deceased Date
Job Title
Vocalist, Songwriter

Syl Johnson recorded a string of popular blues and R&B songs in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, which have been inspirational for generations of musicians.  Soul, funk and Hip-Hop artists have cited Syl and his style of playing as influences including Jay Z.  Over the years he performed with such icons as Magic Sam, Junior Wells, Howlin’ Wolf and guitarman Freddie King.  Syl also wrote several of his own hits, including “Different Strokes” which led to the creation of his own music publishing company in the 1960s. Syl passed away in early 2022, just six days after the passing of his brother, blues guitarist Jimmy Johnson.