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Willie “Peerie” Johnson

b. William Henry Johnson, 10 Dec 1920, Yell, Shetland Islands, Scotland, d. 22 Might 2007, Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland. As a kid Johnson was self-taught on ukulele and electric guitar and in his teenagers he played electric guitar in local rings. For quite some time he followed fiddler Tom Anderson in the Islesburgh Dance Music group. Mainly a folk musician, Johnson was captivated by jazz, specifically the playing of Django Reinhardt. In the RAF during Globe Battle II he performed in rings that included previous professional jazzmen and following the battle followed these guys to London. Shortly, however, he came back towards the Shetlands and used musicians such as for example fiddlers Anderson, Willie Hunter and Aly Bain and pianist Violet Tulloch. In the 70s, Johnson and Anderson performed on the Edinburgh Celebration and visited THE UNITED STATES and European countries. Another musician with whom Johnson proved helpful and recorded is certainly Cathal McConnell. In 2005 the Shetland Arts Trust shown its first Electric guitar Celebration, which they called after Johnson which same season he was inducted in to the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Popularity. This high respect where Johnson happened extended to music artists such as for example Martin Taylor, who in the middle-00s was carefully associated with Shetland’s ‘Peerie’ Willie Johnson Electric guitar Celebration.

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