It was raining today, so we could not play golf. I was busy doing “things” and had “94.9 The Surf” playing as the FM Station.
Now 94.9 is a small station in North Myrtle Beach, but they play my kind of music, 50’s, Blues, Beach Music, just great music and you can listen to them on the internet.
I think I was either reading or dozing but I heard the name General (Norman) Johnson and he is still active around here. Why do I remember him? Because he recorded one of the Rock and Roll Anthems. It was not that popular when released but it gained popularity when people started to associate with the words and the meaning of the Song.
General Norman Johnson was lead singer of a group called The Showmen and their classic hit “It will Stand“. Later General Norman Johnson would head up another group, the “Chairmen of the Board” with their hit “Give Me Just A Little More Time“.
This is not about the Chairmen of the Board, but rather about a forgotten group called The Showmen. To this day “It will Stand” is one of my all time favourites! If you listen to the words it is just what the music industry is trying to do, rename it and reclaim it. All Music executives should have to listen to the words of this song and abide by them.
- Formed: 1960
- Disbanded: 1968
- Genre: Rhythm & Blues
- Representative Albums: “It Will Stand”, “Rare and Classic Hits”, “The Showmen Meet Jessie Hill”
- Representative Songs: “It Will Stand“, “Country Fool“, “39-21-40 Shape”
The Showmen were one of the R&B groups to bridge the gap between Doo Wop andS oul in the early ’60s, creating a buoyant, energetic fusion of harmonies and propulsive R&B beats. The group only had one hit, “It Will Stand,” which charted both in 1961 and in 1964, but their lead singer, General Johnson, went on to greater success as the leader of the ’70s soul group, Chairmen of the Board.
Formed in Norfolk, VA, in the early ’60s, The Showmen consisted of Johnson (born Norman Johnson, May 23, 1943), Leslie Felton, Gene Wright, Dorsey Wright, and Milton Wells.
In 1961, the group signed with Minit Records, which was based in New Orleans. Their first single was a Rock & Roll anthem, “It Will Stand“.
It Will Stand
Released in the fall of 1961, “It Will Stand” was a hit, particularly on the East Coast and in the New Orleans era, but it only peaked at number 61 on the pop charts. Nevertheless, the song’s popularity never decreased and it became a hit three years later, when re-released on the Imperial label. On its second release, the single peaked at number 80 on both the R&B and Pop charts.
Between the two chart appearances of “It Will Stand,” the Showmen kept recording and performing. During this time, they had no national hits, but “39-21-46” became a significant regional hit.
In 1965, the group signed with Swan Records, but none of the ensuing singles became hits.
In 1968, Johnson left the band and moved to Detroit, where he formed the Chairmen of the Board, who would later have hits with “Give Me Just a Little More Time“, “(You’ve Got Me) Dangling on a String” and “Everything’s Tuesday” in the early ’70s.
In the three decades after the breakup of the Showmen, “It Will Stand” and “39-21-46” remained popular on the East Coast “beach music” scene and Johnson would later return to this area, carving out a living as a local performer.
The Carolina Beach Classic was supposed to be 39-21-40, but due to a mislabel it ended up this way.