Some may know his name, some may know only his sound, and some know his soul. This midwestern, Milwaukee, native and businessman currently treads to over 50 years of powerful music experience. His name? Johnnie Gee. As of current, Johnnie Gee remains defiant against going the traditional music route, hence his reluctance to sign with a professional music agency. This allows him the unique ability to control his own destiny. In other words, Johnnie Gee has complete regulation of the publication, license, distribution, and intellectual property in regards to his music. Other artist can only hope for this type of tenacity, yet Gee has mastered that and more.
The legend first was born during September of 1959 to the beautiful state of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His first call to fame occurred at the young age of six, when him and his fellow six siblings, seven including him, formed a childhood band–in which he acted as drummer. Later, a young Johnnie Gee noticed prominence in his vocal talents and was adopted by the Midwestern band, “Step By Step Band.” The band was quite easily his first real step on the road to fame.
Johnnie Gee and the band first began their rise to prominence by playing in venues such as bars found around their neighborhood. Their mostly positive reception to their syndicated audiences inspired them to travel outside of the Milwaukee region and compete in music competitions. While they didn’t place first, Johnnie Gee was able to network among some of the most rising stars in the music industry, including Jackie Wilson, The Chi-Lites, The Stylistics, Ike and Tina Turner, among others.
Yet, Johnnie Gee’s failure alongside his band “Step by Steps” in these musical competitions speaks to a larger point. Clearly, Gee learned that the music industry was a brutal business. He may be adored within Milwaukee, but as soon as he traveled outside, his feedback fell flat. Rather than be discouraged and give up, Johnnie Gee began to further practice his vocal talents, which in many parts contributed to his successful hit songs. In fact, even today the Milwaukee artist continues to produced soulful and inspired hits, with his most recent release dating back as early as 2015 titled Roll Wit It. Further, the artist is quite active on social media and message boards as he relentlessly continues to expand his name and ensures that his dream, and your dreams, never die.
All in all, Johnnie Gee not only inspires with his soulful, potent music, but his intriguing backstory is the real life encapsulation of the ever so important moral on never giving up. Therefore, we urge you that when your kids, friends, or anybody asks you to name a role model who even to this day continues to influence the music industry, we say look to Johnnie Gee.