The Untold Story Of Johnnie Gee

Marilyn J. Rosas


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Johnie Gee Taking Things Step By Step

Johnnie Gee is a soul music legend. Known for his slow, romantic songs that were a staple of the early 60s and late 70s, Gee has an even more inspirational backstory, from humble beginnings in Milwaukee. Wisconsin. His music started at the young age of six when he played the drums alongside his six other siblings. Later, Gee would come to vocal prominence during his young adult age when he was adopted by the band “Step by Step” as a singer.

During the late 60s, the group “Step by Step” became known around the country, largely following the release of their first track with Cuca Records, “Time After Time.” Further, the group gathered attention in second-hand ways, most notably due to a performance they shared with the Jacksons. All of the other different artist that they performed alongside with began to take a liking to the group, and saw it fit to introduce them to the heads of All Platinum Records, Joe and Sylvia Roberson.  Even though the label company agreed to sign the group on, which later led to the release of one of their hit singles: “Love is Strange”, the contract was soon terminated because of reported feuds between the group and the record label in regards to creative differences.

Of course, Johnnie Gee’s soulful group was not discouraged by the destruction of their first record deal. Instead, they continued touring with all the notable groups they crossed paths with. They played alongside groups such as the Chi-Lites, O’Jays, Millie Jackson, and another artist who were up and coming and represented the same soulful potency that the group cherished in themselves. One of the most memorable stories arose from an unknown encounter with a then young Prince, who snuck onto the stage of  Step by Step’s set only to shred some tunes on their guitars. At the time, Prince, then known as Rogers Nelson, was only 16, and even though he was told to leave the guitar alone, he had a great time playing, speaking to all the rising influence of the late 60s era.

During 1975 the group finally gave recording labels another shot. This turnabout came following the opening for the Chi-Lites at the Brunswick Recording Artist concert. The group then followed them on tour, until the managers, Tim Butler and Marshall Thompson, thought it fit to sign the group up with Brunswick, thus prompting the release of “I Always Wanted to be in a Band” in 1976. Clearly, Johnnie Gee and his band never give up on their dreams, and just because one music label fell short, doesn’t mean the rest did. After all was said and done, Johnnie Gee and Step by Step’s time with Brunswick Records led them to their most productive music producing days in their entire careers. We also offer casino gambling online on one of my other websites.

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