Happy birthday Johnny Nash!

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Johnny Nash (born August 19, 1940) is an American singer and composer. He is most famous for the 1972 hit "I Can See Clearly Now," which fused elements of Jamaican reggae with American pop.

Johnny_NashNash was born in Houston, Texas. He was raised on gospel music, performing at Progressive New Hope Baptist Church and making a name for himself around Houston. He got his break when he was working as a caddy at a golf course, and a man named Frank Stockton helped him get an audition for the television show Matinee. Soon he had a regular slot, becoming one of the first African Americans to have one in Houston.

After three years on Matinee, he was offered a contract with ABC-Paramount. He debuted with the song "A Teenager Sings the Blues," which he recorded just shy of his sixteenth birthday. His songs did not immediately garner much attention, lingering in the middle of the charts. In 1958, his cover of Doris Day's "A Very Special Love" made it into the top 25. (Image source)

Nash grew steadily into the 1960s, but his romantic style slowly went out of style as rock grew. In 1965, his song "Let's Move and Groove Together" became a hit in England. This prompted him to open his own record company called Jad.

On a trip to Jamaica to promote his music, he heard reggae music, then called "rocksteady." He decided to record his next single there, producing "Hold Me Tight." The song became an international hit. He decided to stay in Jamaica, and he ended up befriending musicians Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Some members of Bob Marley's band, The Wailers, served as backup musicians on a few reggae hits Nash went on to produce including a remake of Sam Cooke's "Cupid" and later with Nash on Marley's "Stir It Up."

 

 

But it wasn't until 1972 that Nash produced the hit he is most known for today, "I Can See Clearly Now." Despite the fact that the song was a major success, he only produced a few other hits including "Tears on My Pillow" and a few other songs with The Wailers. He has spent most of the rest of his career back home in Houston with his family.

 

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Tuesday, 19 August 2014
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