Born into a large sharecropping family, Johnny Tucker, a Fresno, California native, was introduced to music by his father, who played guitar and sang. Tucker was drawn to the percussive sound of pots and pans, using them to hone his skills until getting his ­first band gig. Eventually graduating to a real drum kit, Tucker along with several of his brothers, chose to pursue music, bringing home their earnings to help support the family.


After moving to Los Angeles in 1964, Tucker’s big break happened when blues guitarist Phillip Walker hired him on drums. Hired because he could both sing harmonies and play drums, Tucker remained with Walker for decades, touring the world and performing on parts of Walker’s acclaimed album, The Bottom of the Top.


It wasn’t until 1997 that Johnny Tucker made his own recording debut, with fellow vocalist James “Broadway” Thomas. Not long after that, he met Robert Auerbach, president of HighJohn Records, and released Why You Lookin’ At Me (2002) for his label debut. Years later,

his sophomore release, Seven Day Blues (2018), followed. Recipient of a Global Music Award Silver Medal and semi-fi­nalist in the 2018 International Songwriting Competition (title track, “Seven Day Blues”), the album was also a critics’ favorite. Now, having reached a milestone birthday on October 17, 2020, which also happened to be the day the album was recorded, Tucker has  released his new opus, 75 and Alive, again on HighJohn Records in partnership with Blue Heart Records. Auerbach selected Kid Ramos to produce this collection of twelve originals. Ramos assembled The Allstars band, featuring Carl Sonny Leyland, John Bazz, Jason Lozano, Bob Corritore and Ron Dziubla.


“Well this guy (Auerbach) is just a really wonderful guy and he wanted me to record Johnny Tucker.  I put together some musicians, you know we went into the studio, we cut 32 tracks in 2 days. Yeah, I mean it was a crack band, the band was just perfect man. I just called out different grooves, different things, and we just started lettin’ it roll.” – Kid Ramos



RECORD OF THE YEAR: "All Night Long, All Night Wrong" from 75 and Alive

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: 75 and Alive

SONG OF THE YEAR: "Have A Good Time Tonight - Play Your Soul, Johnny"

AMERICAN ROOTS PERFORMANCE: "All Night Long, All Night Wrong" 

AMERICAN ROOTS SONG: "Have A Good Time Tonight - Play Your Soul, Johnny"