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Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson

Watson wrote and recorded a bunch of R&B goodies in the 1950s (including Gangster Of Love and Looking Back) that gave him West Coast recognition without stirring the rest of America – leaving The Steve Miller Band and John Mayall to reap the biggest action with the songs a decade later.

In the 60’s he struck further afield scoring modest national hits with blues – on songs such as Cuttin’ In (1962) – and soul, on tracks including Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and Nobody (both recorded with Larry Williams in 1967).

In between, he visited Britain and recorded many less fortunate sides.

In the mid 70s, he created three successive soul hits and a couple of choice albums that didn’t boost his career the way they should’ve, largely because the record company, Fantasy, didn’t have the facilities and/or inclination to capitalise on their hot property.

Watson passed away on 17 May 1996. He was 61.