Earlier today, I listened to Just to Be with You by Johnnie Johnson. In fact, I listened to it twice. It was so good that I went back and listened again. It’s originally an old Muddy Waters song written by Bernard Roth. This version features Phoebe Snow on vocals and Buddy Guy on lead guitar. As I came to the end of my second listen, I started to feel a little sad as it dawned on me that not nearly enough people have heard this version of the song.
Johnnie Johnson is a huge figure in the history of blues and rock. If he had never hired some kid from St. Louis named Chuck Berry, modern music would probably sound completely different. But while Chuck Berry was becoming world famous inventing rock & roll, his boss remained in the shadows. The YouTube of the song has fewer than 2,000 views at the time of writing. And the CD couldn’t have sold more than a couple of thousand copies. Which means that out of the almost 8 billion people on the planet, probably fewer than 10,000 have ever heard this version of Just to Be with You.
I feel like we need to find a way to correct this. Phoebe Snow is stellar as always and it features one of my all-time favorite Buddy Guy guitar parts. We need to spread the word. So, I’m posting the YouTube video here. Tell your friends, acquaintances, and random people you see. You won’t be sorry, and neither will they.