Whitaker Music Festival at the Missouri Botanical
Garden on July 7, 2004 was fantastic. The evening
was Johnnie Johnsons
80th birthday bash.
Johnnie and band were in perfect form for both
sets. Thousands of family, friends and fans joined
in for happy birthday to you to the
Father of Rock and Roll. Marsha Evans joined in
for a couple of songs, as did J.R. Reed. The house
came down, or should I say the field jumped to
their feet for Billy Peeks
version of Johnnie B. Goode (Billy even did the
Tony T. was outstanding as lead and rhythm guitarist.
Gus Thornton was grooving on bass and could not
have been any smoother. Johnnie walked to his
piano a little stiff sat down and his fingers
were like melted butter over the keys. Even Mother
Nature cooperated with the best night I can remember
in a long time - zero humidity, not too hot, I
did not even get bothered by gnats or mosquito's.
Whether you like rock, jazz or blues the evening
for now, peace.
Editors Note - Johnnie received another
in his long list of awards, an official Proclamation
from the Mayor of St. Louis honoring Johnnie
for his achievements and the musical legacy
he's created. Presenting this award on behalf
of the City of St. Louis was Dr. Irv Mestman,
husband of Street
Teamer Lady Di.