by J Raleigh Jones
I discovered Juke Johnson online a few years back and wanted to have him on my TV show here in Nashville, TN. However, Juke lives in Maryland, he was born and raised there. Jake has carved out a musical career for himself as a Country and Gospel songwriter and singer. I want to share his story with you.
Juke is an award winning songwriter and singer who grew up in Baltimore Maryland. His dad played all kinds of music from Jazz, R&B to Country. He and his family listened to Elvis, Ray Charles, Charlie Pride, the Eagles and Motown. He began writing his own songs around the age of 10. As a kid he sang in choirs and as a teen he and some friends formed a rock band IDK, performing covers locally like Lynrd Skynrd, Eagles and Allman Brothers. After high school Juke and one of the guitarists for IDK began writing and recording original songs.
Juke married in 1987 and became a Christian the same year. The band lifestyle conflicted with his new faith so he put behind him going to clubs, drinking a lot and chasing women. He thought he had to give music up to be a good husband and dad. With all the new opportunities in music with the church Juke said "God showed me I did not have to give up music. I could use it to comfort people and take them to places where physically they could never go".
Married with 3 children in 1992, Juke became a worship leader at his home church and formed the Celebration Praise Band, mixing Country, Rock and Gospel. This band existed from the early 90's until 1998. Juke formed another Christian group Adonai 1999-2006 performing around Delmarva area at churches, missions, drug rehabs, jails and other events.
Between 2000-2005, Juke released four independent Christian CD'S, "Soul Rhapsody", "Reach Out", "Rise Up" and "The Mission" as a solo artist. The CD's are available on CD Baby under the name John Johnson.
In 2006 Juke stopped performing and moved to the eastern shore of Maryland and focused on songwriting. He worked with "Songsinc" out of California from 2009-2014, co-writing and producing a lot of Country music songs for up and coming artists. He sang on most of the demos. He produced his first solo Country album "Simple Things" in 2013 attracting an online following around the world.
Credits from his first five albums included "Best Modern Country song 2018" for the song "Blue", co-written with Germain Richard Brunet. Juke was nominated in 2019 and 2020 ISSA awards for "Artist Of The Year", and "Album Of The Year". Currently, Juke co-writes with a group of songwriters across the country. He has a new album released in April 2020 "Night And day". He co-wrote "Falling In The Arms" with Roy August of Lebanon, TN and John W. Stritenberger from Louisville Kentucky. Roy August co-wrote "Fancy Free" for the Oak Ridge Boys with Jimbeau Hinson.
Juke also wrote several songs with Kevin Savigar through Songsinc and released them himself. He released "Remember That", "Going Down", "Working Man Blues" and "The Gift". With Alvie King from Milano Texas Juke co-wrote "Lost On A Beach" #1 on A1A radio, "Dirt Road To Paradise"- #10 on Valley FM 89.5 in Australia, and "Loving Up A Storm" #1 on A1A radio. With Germain Richard Brunet, Juke co-wrote many lyrics including "Blue" , "Poppas Hand" and "They're Free". You can find Juke on Apple Music, Amazon and CD Baby (as John Johnson on CD Baby).
Many talents like Juke Johnson can not come to Nashville but still have the passion for songwriting and performing. Even with a family and other obligations Juke Johnson in a sense, does Nashville The Hardway online.