Syl Johnson

Syl Johnson was an American funk/soul/blues singer and music producer. He began his career in the 1950s, singing and playing with blues artists such as Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells, and Howlin' Wolf. In 1959, he made his solo debut with Federal Records backed by Freddie King on guitar. Johnson then went on to record for Twinight Records in the mid-1960s where he had several hits including "Come On Sock It to Me" in 1967.

During this time, Johnson explored themes of African-American identity and social problems in songs like "Is It Because I'm Black," which reached Number 11 on the R&B charts in 1969. In 1971, he signed with Hi Records and recorded three albums and a number of singles produced by Willie Mitchell. Hits like "We Did It," "Back for a Taste of Your Love," and "Take Me to the River" solidified his success.

After leaving Hi Records, Johnson started his own label called Shama and released two LPs including the hit record "Ms. Fine Brown Frame." In the mid-1980s, he became semi-retired from performing after starting a fast-food fish restaurant business. However, inspired by discovering that his song "Different Strokes" had been sampled by various rappers including Wu-Tang Clan and MC Hammer, Johnson made a comeback in 1994


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