Jamey Johnson

Jamey Johnson
Jamey Johnson

Johnson performing in 2008
Background information
Born July 14, 1975 (1975-07-14) (age 36)[1]
Enterprise, Alabama, USA
Origin Montgomery, Alabama, USA
Genres Country
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2005–present
Labels BNA
Mercury Nashville
Associated acts Trace Adkins
Randy Houser
John Michael Montgomery
Joe Nichols
James Otto
George Strait
George Jones
Website JameyJohnson.com

Jamey Johnson (born July 14, 1975) is an American Grammy Award nominated country music artist. Signed to BNA Records in 2005, Johnson made his debut with his single "The Dollar", the title track to his 2006 album The Dollar. Johnson was dropped from BNA in 2006 and signed to Mercury Nashville Records in March 2008, releasing his second album, the gold-certified That Lonesome Song. This album has produced two more singles: the Top 10 hit "In Color" and "High Cost of Living." In addition to most of his own material, Johnson has co-written singles for Trace Adkins, George Strait, James Otto, Joe Nichols and Jessie James.



Johnson was born on July 14, 1975, in Enterprise, Alabama, but raised in Montgomery, Alabama. From an early age, he was influenced by country acts such as Alabama and Alan Jackson, the latter of whom was the first act that he saw in concert.[2] After graduating high school (Jeff Davis High School), Johnson attended Jacksonville State University, the same university from which Alabama lead singer Randy Owen graduated.[2] During his time at Jacksonville State University, he was a member of Sigma Nu in the Iota Lambda chapter.

Johnson quit college after two years and served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve for eight years.[2] He served in Co L, 3rd Bn, 23rd Marines as an 0341 (Mortarman) and attained the rank of Corporal. He would often play original songs for his fellow Marines and has kept in contact with many of them. He wrote two songs on his initial self-released album that mention his Marine Corps service. After exiting the Marines, he began playing country music in various bars throughout Montgomery; one of his first gigs was opening for David Allan Coe.[2] By 2000, Johnson had moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in pursuit of a career in country music. He also self-released an album called They Call Me Country. One of his first connections was with Greg Perkins, a fiddler who had played for Tanya Tucker and other artists. Perkins invited Johnson to sing as a duet partner on a demo tape; the other duet partner with whom he sang was Gretchen Wilson.[2] Songs for which Johnson sang demos include "Songs About Me" (cut by Trace Adkins) and "That's How They Do It in Dixie" (cut by Hank Williams, Jr. with Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, and Van Zant).[2]

In addition, Johnson had made connections with producer and songwriter Buddy Cannon, who helped him land a songwriting contract.[3] Among Johnson's first cuts as a songwriter was "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," which Adkins released from his 2005 album Songs About Me. That song he co-wrote along with hit songwriter Dallas Davidson and fellow country singer-songwriter Randy Houser, who later worked with Johnson again co-writing "My Cowboy" for country pop singer Jessie James for her self-titled debut album.

Musical career

By 2005, Johnson had also been signed to a recording contract with BNA Records. His first single, entitled "The Dollar," was released that year, followed by his Buddy Cannon-produced debut album (also entitled The Dollar) in March 2006. "The Dollar" went on to peak at #14 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. The album's second single, "Rebelicious," failed to enter the charts and Johnson was dropped from BNA.

After the loss of his record deal, Johnson divorced his wife and took on a reclusive lifestyle, residing in a friend's house while working on his songwriting.[4] He wrote several songs for other artists. In 2006, George Strait reached #1 on the Country chart with "Give It Away," a song which Johnson co-wrote with Bill Anderson and Cannon. This song became Strait's 51st #1 on the Billboard country charts, setting a new record for most #1s on that chart.

In 2007, Trace Adkins charted with two more songs that Johnson co-wrote: "Ladies Love Country Boys" and "I Got My Game On," the former being Adkins' first #1 in 10 years. Also in 2007, Joe Nichols reached Top 20 with "Another Side of You," another song co-written by Johnson. This song was the first single on Nichols's album Real Things, which also contained "She's All Lady," a song that Johnson originally recorded on The Dollar.

Johnson was part of the Fox TV television series Nashville,[5] which was cancelled after two episodes in September 2007.

Johnson released an album in 2008, That Lonesome Song, which was only made available online.[4] The album drew the attention of Mercury Nashville Records, who signed him to a record deal in 2008. His first single for the label, "In Color," was released in March 2008. This song, which Johnson co-wrote with Lee Thomas Miller and James Otto, entered Top 40 in June 2008, and That Lonesome Song was physically released in August of that year. "In Color" peaked at #9 on the Country chart in January 2009 and was followed a month later by "High Cost of Living," which managed to crack the Top 40, but only reaching #34. By April 2009, That Lonesome Song was certified Gold by the RIAA.

A fifth single, "My Way to You," was issued in July 2009. The song was released to radio on July 13, 2009, and debuted at #56 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song peaked at #52 in September 2009.

Johnson was nominated for the 2009 CMA Awards New Artist of the Year, and has been nominated for the 2010 Academy of Country Music Top New Solo Vocalist.

Johnson's newest single, "Playing the Part," was released in summer, 2010 and included on The Guitar Song, released Sept. 14, 2010. The music video for the single was released in October, and was directed by Matthew McConaughey, who also stars in the video as a dancing gorilla.

Johnson is the supporting act on Kid Rock's 2011 Born Free Tour, accompanying Rock on a duet or 2 most nights.

Johnson is a main stage act on Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown May–July 2011.


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart
(sales threshold)
US Country
They Call Me Country
  • Release date: 2002
  • Label: self-released
The Dollar 20 87
That Lonesome Song 6 28
The Guitar Song
  • Release date: September 14, 2010
  • Label: Mercury Nashville
1 4
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart
(sales threshold)
US Country
2005 "The Dollar" 14 101 The Dollar
2006 "Rebelicious"
2008 "In Color" 9 52 That Lonesome Song
2009 "High Cost of Living" 34
"My Way to You" 52 The Guitar Song
2010 "Playing the Part" 39
2011 "Heartache" 51
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

Year Video Director
2006 "The Dollar" Wes Edwards
2008 "In Color" Shaun Silva
2010 "High Cost of Living" Clifton Collins, Jr.
"Bad Angel" (with Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert) George Flanigen
"Playing The Part" Matthew McConaughey

Other appearances

Year Title Album
2010 "Cold Beer" (with Colt Ford) Ride Through the Country
2010 "Bad Angel" (with Dierks Bentley, and Miranda Lambert) Up on the Ridge
2010 "Cover of The Rolling Stone" (with Sammy Kershaw) Better Than I Used to Be
2010 "Four Walls Of Raiford" Sweet Home Alabama: A country Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd
2011 "This Time" Music Inside - Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Vol 1
2011 "The Day Hank Jr. Came To Town" (with Tonya Watts) Handcuff My Soul
2011 "Some Gave All" (with Billy Ray Cyrus, Darryl Worley, and Craig Morgan) I'm American
2011 "Yesterdays Wine" (with Blackberry Smoke, and George Jones) Little Piece of Dixie (2010 Deluxe edition)
2011 "Two Outta' Three Ain't Bad" Imus Ranch Record II
2011 "Have Thine Own Way Lord" (with The Blind Boys of Alabama) 'Take The High Road
2011 "La Grange" 'ZZ Top: A Tribute From Friends

Awards and nominations

Johnson received three Grammy Award nominations at the 51st Grammy Awards: Best Country Album for That Lonesome Song, and Best Country Song and Best Male Country Vocal Performance for "In Color."[14] "In Color" won the Academy of Country Music's 2009 award for Song of the Year and the same award during the 2009 Country Music Association Awards. Going into 2010, Johnson received two more Grammy Award nominations for the 52nd Grammy Awards: Best Country Song and Best Male Country Vocal Performance, both for his 2009 single "High Cost of Living."[15]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 Academy of Country Music Song of the Year- Give It Away Won
Country Music Association Song of the Year- Give It Away Won
2009 51st Grammy Awards Best Country Album — That Lonesome Song Nominated
Best Country Song — "In Color" Nominated
Best Male Country Vocal Performance — "In Color" Nominated
Academy of Country Music Song of the Year — "In Color" Won
Top New Male Artist Nominated
Top Album of the Year — That Lonesome Song Nominated
Country Music Association Song of the Year — "In Color" Won
Single of the Year — "In Color" Nominated
New Artist of the Year Nominated
Album of the Year — That Lonesome Song Nominated
2010 52nd Grammy Awards Best Country Song — "High Cost of Living" Nominated
Best Male Country Vocal Performance — "High Cost of Living" Nominated
Academy of Country Music Top New Solo Vocalist Nominated
Country Music Association Awards Musical Event - "Bad Angel" (with Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert) Nominated
2011 53rd Grammy Awards Best Male Country Vocal Performance — "Macon" Nominated
Best Country Collaboration with Vocals — "Bad Angel" (with Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert) Nominated
Best Country Album — The Guitar Song Nominated


  1. ^ "Today in History - July 14". Associated Press. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jhZfSZI4djl_MxnRykC5lZzlBMYQD99E06B01. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Morris, Edward (2006-03-07). "Jamey Johnson Stirs Fans With "The Dollar"". Country Music Television. http://www.cmt.com/artists/news/1525579/20060307/johnson_jamey.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  3. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Jamey Johnson biography". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p747306/biography. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  4. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (2008-07-11). "Singer Johnson starts fresh after "Lonesome" time". Yahoo! News. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080712/music_nm/johnson_dc. Retrieved 2008-07-25. [dead link]
  5. ^ "TV Preview - Nashville". Entertainment Weekly. 2007-09-14. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20054999,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  6. ^ "Billboard Country Albums - Jamey Johnson". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/jamey-johnson/chart-history/701886?f=320&g=Albums. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  7. ^ "Billboard 200 - Jamey Johnson". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/jamey-johnson/chart-history/701886?f=305&g=Albums. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  8. ^ "American album certifications – Jamey Johnson – That Lonesome Song". Recording Industry Association of America. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?artist=%22That+Lonesome+Song%22.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  9. ^ "American album certifications – Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song". Recording Industry Association of America. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?artist=%22The+Guitar+Song%22.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  10. ^ "Billboard Country Songs - Jamey Johnson". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/jamey-johnson/chart-history/701886?f=357&g=Singles. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  11. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 - Jamey Johnson". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/jamey-johnson/chart-history/701886. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 211. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  13. ^ "American single certifications – Jamey Johnson – In Color". Recording Industry Association of America. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?artist=%22In+Color%22.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  14. ^ "THE 51ST ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS LIST". Grammy Award. 2008-12-04. http://www.grammy.com/grammy_awards/51st_show/list.aspx. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  15. ^ "THE 52ND ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS LIST". Grammy Award. 2009-12-02. http://www.grammy.com/grammy_awards/52nd_show/list.aspx. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 

External links

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