Floridian Johnny Tillotson was born in Jacksonville on April 20, 1939. As a high school student he gained recognition as a singer and while attending the University of Florida, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communications, he signed a recording contract. Following graduation from college he moved to New York to pursue a music career.
Johnny first charted with “Dreamy Eyes” in 1958 and his first million seller single “Poetry in Motion” peaking at #2 on the Hit Parade in 1960. “Without You” was top ten in 1961 and “It Keeps Right On A Hurtin,” a top five hit on both the Pop and Country music surveys in 1962 that earned Johnny a Grammy nomination. In 1963 Johnny’s “Talk Back Trembling Lips” also gave him a gold record.
In 1965 his “Heartaches By The Number” was nominated as Best Vocal Performance of the year. Johnny also sang the theme song for the Sally Field comedy “Gidget” and appeared on numerous television shows and in motion pictures.
During his career covering five decades, Johnny Tillotson landed on the Pop and country music Hit Parade a total of 30 times. An international favorite, he recorded hits in five different languages.
In 2009 Johnny Tillotson was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
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