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Johnny Mann

Johnny Mann
Mann, at right, with Regis Philbin and Joey Bishop in 1969.
Born John Russell Mann
(1928-08-30)August 30, 1928
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died June 18, 2014(2014-06-18) (aged 85)
Anderson, South Carolina, United States

John Russell Mann (August 30, 1928 – June 18, 2014) was an American arranger, composer, conductor, entertainer, and recording artist.


Johnny Mann and his vocal group The Johnny Mann Singers were involved in several classic rock 'n' roll and rockabilly recording sessions for Johnny Burnette (including "God, Country and My Baby"), The Crickets and several 1957–1958 sessions with Eddie Cochran, who was also signed to Liberty Records in Hollywood.

As bandleader with the Johnny Mann Singers, he and the group recorded approximately three dozen albums, hosted the TV series titled Stand Up and Cheer (1971–1974), and was the musical director for The Joey Bishop Show.[1] He was also musical director of The Alvin Show, and was the voice of Theodore. Mann was also choral director for the NBC Comedy Hour.

The Johnny Mann Singers' instrumental "Cinnamint Shuffle (Mexican Shuffle)" hit the US Pop chart in 1966.[2] Their next single, a cover version of "Up, Up and Away", became the hit version of the song in the UK Singles Chart, rather than the US hit version by The 5th Dimension.[3] The version also won a Grammy Award in 1968 in the Best Performance by a Choir of Seven or More Persons category.[4] In total, Mann was nominated for five Grammys, two of which he won.

The Mann Singers performed a strongly patriotic musical presentation at the 1972 Emmy Awards telecast hosted by Johnny Carson. Following their performance, Carson returned to the stage and declared "War Bonds are available in the lobby," a sarcastic comment on the group's flag-waving. The remark offended some conservative viewers around the country.

Mann wrote a number of radio jingles, the most famous being Los Angeles station 93 KHJ as well as the "Sound of the City" jingle for KSFO in San Francisco, California.[5] This jingle became as requested as many of the songs played by KSFO in the era of Don Sherwood, and it was adapted by Mann for other radio stations around the country which included KFRC (AM) in San Francisco and CKLW in Windsor, Ontario.

Mann was credited as "Johnnie Mann" in some of his earlier works. His group's most notable alumna was Vicki Lawrence.

In 1998, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[6]

In 2010, Mann was awarded an honorary doctor of humanities degree from Anderson University in Anderson, SC. In April 2014 at the age of 85, he was a guest conductor of The South Carolina School of the Arts,[7] at Anderson University's spring gala where he led the university choir in performing the Johnny Mann Singers arrangement of "Up, Up and Away". At the song's conclusion, the audience of about 1,000 stood in Mann's honor.[8]

On June 18, 2014, Johnny Mann died of heart failure at age 85 at his home in Anderson, South Carolina.[9][10]

On June 28, 2014, at his memorial service, Dr. Evans Whitaker, president of Anderson University (SC) announced the creation of the Johnny Mann Center for Commercial Music at Anderson University in his memory. [11]


  1. ^ "The Joey Bishop Show". Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 155.  
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 347.  
  4. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 182. CN 5585. 
  5. ^ "560 KSFO Radio – The Sound Of The City". Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  6. ^ "Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  7. ^ "The South Carolina School of the Arts". Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  8. ^ "His Music is Going to be with Us". Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  9. ^ Bruce Weber. "Johnny Mann, Leader of Easy-Listening Singers, Dies at 85".  
  10. ^ Limon, Janice (2014-06-18). "Johnny Mann, composer, voice of 'Chipmunk,' dies in Anderson". Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  11. ^ "Johnny Mann, composer, voice of 'Chipmunk,' dies in Anderson". 

External links

  • Johnny Mann Singers
  • Space Age Pop profile of Johnny Mann
  • Johnny Mann at AllMusic
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