Springfield, IL

Jan 26, 1989

Dear John #III & Family

I'm sure glad to hear from you, and that you enjoyed

the tape of the Johnson Band or part of it "the band"

(3 members). 2 or 3 more records were made at this

same time and some were much better than this one

(I thought). They were all out at Dad's on the farm

and I salvaged only this one.

("I inquired of Dorothy & the girls if they knew

what became of them and I never got an answer.

There was also a lot of Dad's band music complete

for a fifty piece band stored there also and it

dissapeared too.")

In regards to what instruments we played. John#1

played the violin, John#2 played the mandolin, and

your Uncle Hane brought up the rear on guitar.

John#2 would have played much more but he was

the recording artist and had to spend most of his time at

the controls as it was such a make shift thing, and took

quite a bit of adjustment.

Your Dad was making a broadcasting station for the

college as part of his credits and that is why we were

able to have access to the equipment at nights.

John#2 thought we might market some records but

found out it was very expensive and we had no

connections for marketing so we gave it up.

We were working at Canton Mo. at the time

remodeling the house for John#2's landlord (Bill Henton)

and did not have the rest of the band with us (Dean &

Maro) so we had no quartets involved.

Fromhere our band scattered out and we went down

hill pretty fast, only meeting at Christmas about every

year or two.

When we were all at home we entered every amatuer

contest in the country never came out below 1st place

but Dad would not leave home to go W.L.S. or Knox

for a regular show. We played at the county fairs and

once at Springfield for W.L.S. Barn Dance at the State

fair but that is as far as John#1 would go.

Dad's roots were in Pike county Ill and that is where

he kept them, no money or any offer would take him


In the depression days (1930-1940) we played a lot

in local towns to draw a crowd on Wed & Sat nights,

and I do mean crowds, the towns were so crowded that

they had regular traffic jams. It sure made us feel good

to think we were so popular. Dad charged $40.00 per

hour and we were paid for 2 hours and we usually

donated an extra hour for free.

I had a new Chevrolet 2 door and we all went crowded

in it. Mom stayed at home to make room for all the

instruments. If it rained we had to put the Bull fiddle in

side the car and that made the boys in the back seat

set on each others laps which usually caused trouble

thier clothes got pretty wrinkled before we got there, but

the crowd never seemed to object, in fact they seemed

to show more appreciation than ever.

I'm glad you appreciate a little bit of the Johnson

music history the best I can narrate it.

Love to you all

Lorraine C. Johnson