Johnny Holiday


Akron/Youngstown, 1964-72++

Johnny Holiday was a singer with a powerful voice who could belt out James Brown or Jackie Wilson style effortlessly - his tag was "Mr. Excitement".

Johnny Holiday recorded several 45s on WAM, Airtown, and Bold, using local rock-n-roll musicians for backing. The 45 on WAM is an excellent garage shouter. His later 45s, backed by a band called Guardrail, sounded more in the funk style. He played the Youngstown and Akron clubs back and forth for several years.

Johnny's real name is Donald Watson. In 1992, with the help of former Cellmates drummer Nick Puin, he cut what seems to be his final recordings, an LP and 45 in a contemporary country style. These were released under his new 'nom de plume', Dew Waston. "Dew" is his initials (Donald E. Watson).