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Episode #679 – Johnny Bragg

Air Week: May 8-14, 2023

Johnny Bragg

This week, Matt The Cat features the incredible story of Johnny Bragg. It’s one of the greatest stories in all of Rhythm & Blues and early Rock n’ Roll. At age 17, Johnny Bragg is sentenced to 594 years in prison on six counts of rape. He possesses one of the most beautiful tenors and thanks to prison reforms, he is allowed to record with his group, The Prisonaires for Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Their first release, “Just Walkin’ In The Rain” from 1953 becomes an instant vocal group classic and in 1956 is made into an enormous pop hit by Johnnie Ray. The Prisonaires cut 4 singles for Sun before changing their name to The Marigolds and scoring a top ten R&B hit in 1955 with “Rollin’ Stone.” The “Juke In The Back” honors Johnny Bragg and his immeasurable contribution to popular music through his story, his music and interviews from a new documentary film on The Prisonaires. Bragg’s story is one of the greatest seldom-told secrets from the back alleys of early Rhythm & Blues, but it’s in the forefront on this week’s “Juke In The Back.”


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