Notebook Cover

  Marvin & Johnny

By Marv Goldberg

© 2009 by Marv Goldberg

This is not intended to be a biography of "Marvin & Johnny." Instead, it's a detailed discography, pointing out what voices you'll hear on any record that was released as by "Marvin & Johnny."

Marvin Phillips used a bewildering array of singers as "Johnny" (although none of them was actually named Johnny). In late 1952, he and Jesse Belvin (as "Jesse & Marvin") had had a hit with "Dream Girl" and he chose "Marvin & Johnny" to suggest the name of the original duo. Note that some discographies list a "Johnny Dean," whom Marvin Phillips has said he never heard of.

"Marvin & Johnny" was a nebulous theory rather than a fact. Usually, a record released as "Marvin & Johnny" had two voices. However, it could just as well be a solo by Marvin Phillips; Marvin, backed up by singing band members; Marvin with more than one "Johnny" (for example, both Jesse Belvin and Emory Perry); or Marvin, overdubbing his own voice.

In addition, Marvin had recordings released under his own name or as "Long Tall Marvin"; these are not in the discography. What is present are photos of those singers who were "Johnny."


In all cases, these recordings were released as by "Marvin & Johnny,"
regardless of the number of voices.

Marvin PhillipsMarvin Phillips is "Marvin" on all the following recordings.

The "Johnnies" are:

Billy Richard BR = Billy Richard (see Robins)
Bobby Sheen BS = Bobby Sheen (see Robins)
Carl Green CG = Carl Green (see Turks)
Emory Perry EP = Emory Perry
Jesse Belvin JB = Jesse Belvin
Rufus Anderson RA = Rufus Anderson
Roy Richard RR = Roy Richard (see Robins)
Willie Egan WE = Willie Egan

479 I'm Not A Fool (CG)/Baby Doll (CG) - 10/53
488 Jo Jo (EP)/How Long She Been Gone (EP) - 3/54
498 Boy Loves Girl (EP)/School Of Love (EP) - 6/54

       Honey (CG)
       If I Should Lose You (CG)
       I Want Lovin' (CG)

933 Cherry Pie (EP)/Tick Tock (EP) - 7/54

530 Flip (CG)/Day In, Day Out (EP) - 8/54

941 Sugar (solo)/Kiss Me (EP) - 9/54
946 Little Honey (EP)/Honey Girl (EP) - 12/54
949 Ko Ko Mo (JB)/Sometimes I Wonder (EP) - 1/55
952 I Love You Yes I Do (JB)/Baby Won't You Marry Me (EP) - 55
959 Sugar Mama (JB)/Butter Ball (EP) - 5/55

554 Mamo Mamo (Marvin solo, with band vocals)/Ding Dong Baby (Marvin, overdubbed, with band vocals ) - 6/55

      What's The Matter (Marvin, overdubbed, with band vocals)

968 Will You Love Me (RA)/Sweet Dreams (Marvin solo)- 9/55
974 Ain't That Right (JB/EP)/Let Me Know (JB/EP) - 10/55

      I Wanna (JB)
      Vip Vop (probably Marvin overdubbed)

3335 My Dear, My Darlin' (Marvin and a group)/Hey Chicken (EP) - 8/56
3371 Yak-Yak (EP)/Pretty Eyes (EP) - 4/57

34 Baby, Baby, Baby (WE)/Bye Bye Baby (WE) - 9/57

3408 You're In My Heart (RR)/Smack Smack (RR) - 1/58
3439 The Valley Of Love (EP)/It's Christmas Time (EP) - 7/58

303 Cherry Pie (EP)/Ain't That Right (JB/EP) (reissues) - 5/58

333 Second Helping Of Cherry Pie (BS)/Pretty One (WE) - 7/60

1188 Once Upon A Time (Marvin with a female group)/Tick Tock (EP; reissue) - 5/61

641 I'm Tired Of Being Alone (WE)/Baby Don't You Know (WE) - 62
645 Second Helping Of Cherry Pie (BS)/Pretty One (WE) (reissues) - 62

8681 I'm Tired Of Being Alone (WE)/Hot Biscuits And Gravy (BR/BS) - 62

80 Cherry Pie (EP)/Ain't That Right (JB/EP) (reissues) - 63

436 Baby You're The One (BS)/Dear One (EP) - 65

2 Cherry Pie (EP)/Ain't That Right (JB/EP) (reissues) - 65

127 Cherry Pie (EP)/Ain't That Right (JB/EP) (reissues) - 65

102 Be Mine Tonight (??)/Suzanne (??) - 65

1394 It's Christmas (EP) (reissue)/[It's Christmas Time - 5 Keys] - 76
      This is a reissue of M&J's "It's Christmas Time" from 1958. The songwriting credit on the original was just Marvin Phillips. By reissue time,
      "Josea" also appears as writer (this is the pen name of Modern's Joe Bihari). Even more interesting, the 5 Keys' totally different song is also
      credited to Marvin Phillips, although the original release credited the 5 Keys themselves with authorship.

Rip Spencer and Ron ShyIn the mid-60s, Marvin Phillips retired and gave the name "Marvin & Johnny" to his nephew, Sheridan "Rip" Spencer (who had been in the Valiants). The following recordings are by him (as "Marvin"), along with Ron Shy (as "Johnny").

BRASS STAR (Living Proof, featuring Marvin & Johnny)
001 Cherry Pie/Loner's Odyssey - 87

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