20 April 1939, Jacksonville, Florida, USA. Tillotsons father was a country music disc jockey and Johnny himself was appearing on local radio from the age of nine. His parents encouraged his talent by giving him first a ukulele and then a guitar, and he was influenced by the singing cowboys (Gene Autry, Roy Rogers) and country singer Hank Williams. He appeared regularly on Tom Dowdys television show, from which he was recommended to Archie Bleyer, the owner of Cadence Records. His first single in 1958, recorded while he was completing his BSc in Journalism And Communications, combined the teen ballad Dreamy Eyes with the up-tempo Well, Im Your Man. Although his roots were in country music, he was encouraged to revive the R&B ballads Never Let Me Go, Pledging My Love and Earth Angel. In 1960 he released the classic teen-ballad Poetry In Motion, which went to number 2 in the...
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