Jamey Johnson life and biography

Jamey Johnson picture, image, poster

Jamey Johnson biography

Date of birth : 1975-07-14
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Montgomery, ALbama
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-02-15
Credited as : Country music artist, Give It Away, CMA Awards

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Jamey Johnson is an American country music artist, born and raised in Montgomery, Ala. He grew up influenced by that state's famous country musicians such as Hank Williams Jr., Vern Gosdin and the band, Alabama. He first picked up the guitar when he was around 10 years old when his uncle taught him to play Alabama's "My Home's in Alabama." As a teenager, he saved enough money to buy an Epiphone guitar he dubbed Old Maple. On Saturday nights, he and his friends would go to the grave of Hank Williams on the hill above Montgomery to drink beer and sing the legend's songs. One night he dropped Old Maple on the tombstone and splintered its bottom. The instrument bears that scar to this day.

He began his singing career in the clubs of Montgomery. His father thought his son might become a music teacher or a band director. But after two years of college, Jamey abruptly quit school in 1994. For the next eight years he served in the Marine Corps Reserve and perfected his country singing style. The same week he was discharged, the rest of his unit was ordered to Iraq.

Having paid his dues in the honky-tonks of Alabama, Johnson gave Nashville a try. He arrived on Jan. 1, 2000, and took a job as a salesman for a sign company. Then he worked for an industrial pumping company. From 2001 until 2004, he helped run a construction firm, restoring buildings devastated by fires, hurricanes or tornados.

In time, he started singing at songwriter nights and met other songwriters. When those writers got publishing deals, they hired Johnson to sing demos. (His first one was a duet with Gretchen Wilson, also a demo singer at the time.) One of those writers, Randy Hardison, praised his talent to producer Buddy Cannon. They decided to co-produce some demos for Johnson, but Hardison was murdered in 2002. The sudden loss brought Johnson and Cannon closer together.

Proceeding with their goals, Cannon produced some demos for Johnson and helped secure him a publishing deal. (He co-wrote the Trace Adkins hit, "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.") Johnson struggled to find a record deal, though, until his seventh audition for RCA Records in April 2005. The label released his debut album, The Dollar, in early 2006. In 2007, he won a CMA Award for co-writing George Strait's "Give It Away." His 2008 follow-up album is on Mercury Nashville.

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