- Get Involved
JOHNSON, WILLIE NEAL
Listen to this artist
JOHNSON, WILLIE NEAL (1935–2001). Gospel singer Willie Neal Johnson, known as "The Country Boy," was born in Tyler, Texas, on August 25, 1935, the oldest of six children in a musical family. His mother, probably the most musically inclined person in the family, motivated her children to pursue their singing careers by taking them to church and making them sing every Sunday. Willie started singing gospel music in his early teens.
His first musical group, the Gospel Keynotes, included Ralph McGee, Charles Bailey, Rev. J. D. Talley, John Jackson, Lonzo Jackson, and Archie McGee. They recorded their first major hit, "Show Me the Way," on the Nashville gospel label Nashboro Records. They received a Grammy nomination in 1980 for "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now." Johnson also joined the Five Ways of Joy gospel group. In 1985 the Gospel Keynotes signed with Malaco Records and changed their name to the New Keynotes. With Malaco they recorded seven albums by 2002. Popular songs by the group include "I'm Yours, Lord" and "Lord, Take Us Through," which made the Top 25. The group was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in Detroit and the American Gospel Quartet Hall of Fame in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1999. Johnson died on January 10, 2001, in Tyler. He was survived by his wife, Captoria, three sons, five daughters, and his mother, Luretia.
Tyler Courier-Times–Telegraph, January 16, 2001. Willie Neal Johnson and the New Keynotes (http://www.afgen.com/willie_neal.html), accessed October 22, 2011.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Samantha Lange, Adrian McCall, Devin Solice, and Leighann Weggemann, "Johnson, Willie Neal," accessed February 24, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fjobz.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on September 12, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.