6 Songs, 58 Minutes


About Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson is a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter whose contributions to the gospel music genre include a classic song that is sometimes mistaken for a depressing weather report, "It's Gonna Rain Again." From the early '60s through the early '80s he was associated with the Sensational Nightingales, a superb gospel ensemble that had been active since the Second World War. Following that, Johnson began leading his own groups, most notably Charles Johnson & the Revivers. Like many artists from this genre, Johnson's musical background was singing in church with his family.

In the late '40s he was working on several ranches in Texas and singing on the weekends with friends. He moved to California in the '50s, basically following the same split lifestyle until joining up with the Sensational Nightingales in 1961. At this point singing became a full-time activity, the group embarking on a series of international tours and regularly putting out sides for labels such as Malaco. Johnson became the group's lead singer and soon established himself as one of the leading songwriters for the ensemble. His previously mentioned ode to precipitation was on the charts for more than two years straight in the '70s.

Charles Johnson & the Revivers was originally formed with collaboration from brothers Darrell and Ricky Luster. "Sealed Til the Day of Redemption" began to get heavy radio airplay in the late '80s, leading to a new audience for a style that eventually became known as Southern gospel. Later hits included the helpless "I Can't Even Walk Without You Holding My Hand," the dependent "We Cannot Stand Alone," and the straightforward "I Believe." In 2002 Johnson forged his autobiography, Another River to Cross. ~ Eugene Chadbourne