R.I.P. Larry Johnson of "I'm Gonna Miss You" group, The Artistics

We are sorry to report the death of Larry Johnson of the classic soul group The Artistics, best known for their top 10 R&B hit, “I’m Gonna Miss You.” Details of Mr. Johnson's death were not available.

The group was formed in 1958 at Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois with a line-up of Curt Thomas (lead), Johnson (first tenor), Jesse Bolian (second tenor) and Aaron Floyd (baritone bass). In 1960 Thomas left and was replaced by lead singer Robert Dobyne. The group performed at the 1960 Democratic National Convention, and began singing backup for Major Lance, including on his record "Monkey Time".

Record producer Carl Davis signed the group to OKeh Records in 1963, but their early records were not successful. Dobyne left in 1964, followed by Marvin Smith, who later had a solo career.

We are sorry to report the death of Larry Johnson of the classic soul group The Artistics, best known for their top 10 R&B hit, “I’m Gonna Miss You.” Details of Mr. Johnson's death were not available.

The group was formed in 1958 at Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois with a line-up of Curt Thomas (lead), Johnson (first tenor), Jesse Bolian (second tenor) and Aaron Floyd (baritone bass). In 1960 Thomas left and was replaced by lead singer Robert Dobyne. The group performed at the 1960 Democratic National Convention, and began singing backup for Major Lance, including on his record "Monkey Time".

Record producer Carl Davis signed the group to OKeh Records in 1963, but their early records were not successful. Dobyne left in 1964, followed by Marvin Smith, who later had a solo career.

The Artistics their first local hit with "Get My Hands On Some Lovin'", co-written and first recorded by Marvin Gaye, and followed it up with the more successful "This Heart of Mine," written by Barrett Strong. The group released an LPGet My Hands on Some Lovin' (1966). But real success didn’t come until they moved to Brunswick Records where Carl Davis had become A&R Director. Their first record on the label was "I'm Gonna Miss You", written by Smith, Bolian and Johnson of the group and produced by Davis, which rose to no. 9 on the R&B chart and no. 55 on the pop chart at the end of 1966. Marvin Smith left the group for a solo career before the record made the charts, and was replaced by Tommy Green. Smith continued to collaborate on writing material, and sang on some of the group's records until 1970.

The group's next single, "Girl I Need You", with Green on lead vocal, was also a minor hit, and the group recorded an LPI'm Gonna Miss You. Several further singles on Brunswick were less successful, but they recorded two further albums, The Articulate Artistics (1968) and What Happened (1969), produced by Carl Davis with the Chi-Lites’ Eugene Record. The albums are now regarded as high points of Chicago R&B recordings of the period and their tracks are highly regarded by fans of Northern soul.[5] The group's last chart record was "Make My Life Over" in 1971, with Fred Pettis replacing Green on lead vocal. The group left Brunswick in 1973, and split up soon afterwards.

The albums I'm Gonna Miss You and The Articulate Artistics were reissued on CD in 1998, and a compilation CD of their recordings was issued the following year. Smith briefly reformed the group in 1999, to undertake some recordings for Ian Levine's Motorcity Records.

Johnson was key part of another of the seemingly endless quality soul groups of the 1960s and 70s that have come to be appreciated as time has passed.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article The Artistics.

 

Thanks to SoulTracker Colton for letting us know.

 

 
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