R.I.P. Side Effect founder Augie Johnson

We’re sad to report the death of noted soul, jazz and funk man, August William “Augie” Johnson at age 65. As the leader of the popular group Side Effect, Johnson combined great musical vision and a sense of humor to carve a permanent place for himself in R&B music lore.

Johnson formed the band Side Effect in 1972. The act was popular among both R&B and jazz fans and featured a revolving door of very talented female lead singers, including Miki Howard, Sylvia St. James and Helen Baylor. While not big hitmakers, the band charted several times, most notably with “Always There” and “Make You Mine.” 

We’re sad to report the death of noted soul, jazz and funk man, August William “Augie” Johnson at age 65. As the leader of the popular group Side Effect, Johnson combined great musical vision and a sense of humor to carve a permanent place for himself in R&B music lore.

Johnson formed the band Side Effect in 1972. The act was popular among both R&B and jazz fans and featured a revolving door of very talented female lead singers, including Miki Howard, Sylvia St. James and Helen Baylor. While not big hitmakers, the band charted several times, most notably with “Always There” and “Make You Mine.” 

In the late 70s, Johnson helped Side Effect's back up band get a record deal as The Boppers, which they later renamed the L.A. Boppers.  He helped that band record several albums on Mercury, where they combined brilliant musicianship with a sense of fun, making their funk/jazz discs an unadulterated pleasure during a time dominated by disco and straight up funk. They landed their biggest hit with “Is This The Beat (Bop Doo-Wah)” in 1981.

Johnson also made an impact working on albums of other artists such as Michael Jackson and Boz Scaggs, with whom he worked on hits like “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” and “Lowdown.”   The Jackson connection came into play in early 2014, when Johnson attempted to clear up an internet rumor, admitting that he, not Jackson, was the father of Brandon Howard (son of Miki Howard), who had been rumored to be MJ's offspring.

Side Effect reunited in various forms over the years, most recently as “Augie’s Side Effect.” Under that moniker, Johnson recorded a song honoring the Olympic athletes as Augie’s Side Effect in 2012.

Augie Johnson was a one of a kind performer who will be missed.

Official statement from Augie Johnson’s family:
 
On behalf of the Johnson family, we would like to thank you for your overwhelming love and support during the passing of our beloved August “Augie” William Johnson. We are consumed with grief and ask that you hold your calls and text messages. Soon we will release information on the public memorial service and ask that you respect the privacy of the family at this time. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will be on his love for life & people and not his death. 
 
Cards and expressions of love can be sent to: 
             Augie Johnson
             c/o Shades of Music Entertainment
             PO BOX 6506
            San Pedro, CA 90734
 

 
Choice Cut - Kenya - "Favorite Things"
Choice Cut - Sy Smith - "Camelot"
Featured Album - Conya Doss - CLEAR
See The Nominees! - SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards

Leave a comment!