Marvin & Johnny Biography

From Los Angeles, California, USA, Marvin Phillips (23 October 1931, Guthrie, Oklahoma, USA) and Emory ‘Johnny’ Perry (b. 1 March 1928, Sherman, Texas, USA) made a brief impact on the rock ‘n’ roll scene when Los Angeles was a major centre of the R&B recording scene during the late 40s and early 50s. Phillips and Perry had known each other since 1949, when they both played saxophones in the Richard Lewis Band. When Phillips formed the Marvin Phillips And His Men From Mars combo, Perry joined him. Phillips had gained his first success in the recording business when he teamed with Jesse Belvin in a duo called Marvin And Jesse, reaching the charts with the dreamy ballad ‘Dream Girl’ (number 2 R&B) in 1952 for Specialty Records. After Belvin was drafted into the army in 1953, Phillips, at the behest of Specialty, recruited a new partner, his old friend Perry, to form Marvin And Johnny. The duo immediately had a hit with ‘Baby Doll’ (number 9 R&B) in 1953. They moved to Modern in 1954 and released ‘Tick Tock’ (number 9 R&B). However, they are best remembered for ‘Cherry Pie’, the b-side to ‘Tick Tock’, which, although not making any national charts, possibly achieved more radio airplay. The song was revived by Skip And Flip in 1960, putting it high on the pop charts.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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