Sunday, May 8, 2016

SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2016
     John Johns is a cousin in a roundabout sort of way, but mostly he is a dear and talented friend of many years. His roots are deep in the small town of Hickman, KY, alongside the Mississippi River. John took and interest in the classical guitar a long time ago. He wound up befriending other guitarists such as Chet Atkins. They swapped stories and music licks during most of their time together. At one point, Chet even took a lesson or two from John about a technique Chet was working on. Picture that, if you can...the great Chet Atkins taking lessons from John Johns. Oh, my! They remained friends until Chet passed away in 2001.
     Fast-forwarding to more recent times, John Johns and his wife and daughter moved to Nashville, and John began teaching at Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. He taught, he toured on a limited basis, he appeared on WPLN-FM (public radio in Nashville) several times, and now after 40+ years of honing his craft, John is retiring to spend more time with his family.
     As a tribute to family and friends where John grew up in Hickman, KY, he was invited to perform one more concert for the hometown crowd. The First Methodist Church was filled that sunny and warm Sunday afternoon, May 1, 2016. The concert was magnificent, and there was a reception and presentation to John which followed the musical performance. It was a lovely way for John to close out his wonderful career and to salute those folks who supported him along the way.
     We should mention that the Saturday night before the concert, there was a fine gathering for a huge catfish dinner at Boyette's Restaurant in Tiptonville, TN, near Reelfoot Lake. Great food, family, and friends. You can't get much better than that!
     John's selections for the Sunday concert were: Aria detta "La Frescobalda" by Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643); Prelude, Allemande, and Gavottes I and II by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750); Andante largo, Op. 5, No. 5 by Fernando Sor (1778-1839); Danza Espanola No. 5 (Andaluza) by Enrique Granados (1867-1916); and Five Preludes (1940) E minor, D major, A minor, E minor, and E major, by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959).
     Our congratulations and best wishes to John and his family as he moves into another phase of his life. We hope he will continue to play guitar well into the future.

John Johns on his Daryl Perry Classical Guitar
First Methodist Church, Hickman KY
May 1, 2016
John Johns and cousin Bill Bailey
First Methodist Church, Hickman, KY
May 1, 2016

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