Saturday, October 15, 2005

Johnny Brantley Productions

I have not been able to find out too many details about Johnny Brantley except snippets I have picked up off searches of the Net.

Here are some bits and pieces:-

1. Lonnie Youngblood said in an interview that Johnny Brantley was a mover and shaker on the New York soul scene in early 60's working with the likes of Bobby Robinson.

2. Most of his productions are attributed to Vidalia Productions.

3. Most of the song publishing is through Cudda Pane

4. All his productions except for the one release I know on Bran T by Billy La Mont were leased to large labels such as Tower, Atco etc

5. He may have originally had links to Atlanta because he worked with Lee Moses and Hermon Hitson who originated from Georgia.

7. Most of his productions appear to have been recored in New York or New Jersey between 1965 and 1971.

8. According to one website, he was still alive in late 1970's because John Anderson, the UK record dealer, leased material off him for his Grapevine label and also accessed tracks such as Paris Blues by Tony Middleton, Oh Happy Day by Flame N King and Billy Hambric's She Said Goodbye from him as well.

9. He used a songwriting team Edward Lewis, James Tony Lewis and Marion Farmer for many of his recordings though the Ohio Players, Hermon Hitson, Jimmy Norman, Lee Moses, Bobby Fears and Billy La Mont also contributed material.

10. He used Jimi Hendrix on guitar for some sessions and also cashed in on Jimi's later fame by issuing an album called Love Moods. These tracks may or not have had Jimi playing on them. However, they are intriguing for soul fans because Lee Moses and Hermon Hitson may be the voices on the tracks.

11. He used Lonnie Youngblood as a session musician but I cannot discover whether he produced anything on Lonnie. There is an album on Maple 6004 called Jimmie Hendrix and Lonnie Youngblood Two Great Experiences Together which may be one of his productions.

12. He used the same songs over again on different artists which was common in the 60's. John Anderson is quoted as saying he received versions of You Don't Mean It by 10 different people.

Here is a list of his known productions:-

Johnny Brantley Productions: Discography

Nate Adams

Atlantic 2466 Why Is It Taking So Long / I'm Gonna Be Good

The Adventurers

Music World 10 I’ve Caught You Cheatin’/Darlin'

Gloria “Towanda” Barnes

A&M 1141 You Don’t Mean It/ Find Someone To Love
Jomar 1030 Love Slipped Thru My Fingers/I Gotta Get Away (2004 Limited Pressing)
Maple ? Album Uptown

Bobby Brown

Verve 10594 A Woman And Some Soul/Why

Jimmy Castor

Smash 2069 Hey, Leroy Your Mama's Callin' You/Ham Hocks Espanol
Smash 2085 Magic Saxophone/Just You Girl

Marion Farmer

Tower 417 Sophisticated Alabama Soup Bone Pts 1 & 2

Chosen Few

Maple 1000 Taking All The Love I Can/Birth Of A Playboy
Maple 1000 Taking All The Love I Can/I Can’t Take No Chances
Maple Album 6000 Taking All The Love I Can

Jimi Hendrix

Miracle Worker
I'm Gonna Be Good
You Are Too Much For The Human Heart - version 1
You Are Too Much For The Human Heart - version 2
Feel That Soul All Alone
So Called Friend
Girl So Fine Every Little Bit Hurts
You Say You Love Me
A Mumblin' Word
Get Down
Free Spirit
House Of The Rising Sun
Let The God Sing
Bring My Baby Back
Voice In The Wind
Hey Leroy
Good Feeling
Let Me Thrill Your Soul
Something You Got
Hot Trigger
Edda Mae
Be My Baby
Find Someone
Everything You Get
You Got It
It's Gonna Take A Lot To Bring Me Back Baby
Young Generation

Hermon Hitson

Atco 6566 You Are Too Much For The Human Heart/ I Got That Will
Minit 32072 Yes You Did / Better To Have Loved
Minit 32096 Show Some Sign / She's A Bad Girl

The Icemen

Samar 111 (I Wonder) What It Takes/ (My Girl) She’s A Fox
Samar 117 Sugar Baby/Only Time Will Tell

Billy La Mont

Bran T 9929/9930 So Called Friend/(Darlin’) Please Come Home
2oth Century 6707 Sweet Thang/Please Don't Leave

Lee Moses

Dynamo 113 I Need A Woman Of My Own / Your Man
Dynamo 115 If Loving You Is A Crime (I’ll Always Be Guilty)/Never In My Life
Musicor 1227 Day Tripper/Reach Out I’ll Be There
Musicor 1242 Bad Girl Part 1 & 2
Musicor 1263 I’m Sad About It/How Much Longer (Much I Wait)
Front Page 2301 I Can’t Take No Chances/ Time And Place
Maple 1001 Got That Will/?
Gates 1502 She’s A Bad Girl/Dark End Of The Street
Maple Album 6001 Time and Place

Jimmy Norman

Samar 112 You’re Only Hurting Yourself/Lil O'l Groovemaker
Samar 116 Can You Blame Me /This I Beg Of You
Mercury 72727 I'm Leaving (This Old Town)/If You Love Her (Show It)
Mercury ? Family Tree/It's Beautiful
Josie 994 Gangster Of Love (Part 1) / Gangster of Love (Part 2)

Ohio Players

Trip 8029 First Impressions Album (Collected Compass Cuts)
Capitol 192 Observations In Time Album

George Scott

Maple 6008 Find Someone To Love Album

Sam Williams

Tower 367 Love Slipped Through My Fingers/Let’s Talk It Over
Tower 742 Miracle Worker/So Called Friend

In subsequent posts, I will look at each of the productions in more detail.


  1. Anonymous9:49 PM

    Just discovered your site. I have recently started an audioblog featuring Northern soul. It's a sister site to my main blog 'Retrobabe!'.. Hope you don't mind me linking you, your site is really well researched from what I can see. Cheers IanB

  2. Hi

    I saw your blog and I used to play with Jimmy Norman when I was living in Manhattan back 1976 through 1986. We recorded many demo's of his original songs. Jimmy is still living in Manhattan although has some health issues after a bypass. He just put out an album of his songs.
    If you need any info on Jimmy that I can help with let me know.
    Mike Chavers

  3. Hi Mike

    Thanks for dropping by!I was sorry to hear about Jimmy's health - please wish him well. I did try to contact him via the website last year and now I understand why he didn't get back.

    I really enjoyed his last CD - and breath of fresh air!!!

    I have dropped your blog - keep up the good work!!!



  4. Anonymous9:34 PM

    Hey Colin -

    My name is Rik Willard, and I am a Manhattan, NY native. My father was also Rick (with a "c") Willard, who was a National Sales Dirctor for Atlantic Records, and later, partners with Johnny Brantley (my "uncle Johnny"). I have been looking for references to both of them on the web recently because they are both instrumental figures in the marketing of soul music through the 60's and early 70's - and pioneers of black executive involvement in the music business in general. Both men are decesed for many years, but I have access to Johnny's family (his wife and daughter, as well as gold records and stuff like that... interested in comparing notes?

    1. Anonymous1:45 AM

      Mr. Willard,

      I hope that you are still blogging and get this message. I do not know when this was posted, but I just found it as I too was trying to find Johnny Brantley for years. Thank you for the information regarding him and it is with sadness to know of his status. I do not know when you made this post, but I would be very interested in speaking with you. I am one of Johnny Brantley's discovery and an artist that has been released in the UK and my album appear to be very popular among the listening audiences,according to blogs and other information that I have found on the internet. Please contact me at

  5. Hi Rik

    Good to hear from you!!

    I certainly would be interested - please drop my a line with your telephone number and I will contact you.



  6. Hi Rik
    Saw your site researching the songwriting team of Lewis, Lewis and Farmer. My dad worked with Eddie Lewis. When I was about 12, they recorded my singing and playing guitar on two songs of theirs; "Come Back Heavenly Father", and a song called, I think "I'm Gonna Travel Around". We had some interest at William Morris, but nothing came of it. They were great guys. James and Eddie were twins, and hard to tell apart. A great experience for me.