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The emotional Country side of Mike Johnson. An emotional lineup that will tug at your heart-strings, warm your insides and become a treasured favorite for years to come.

10 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Traditional Country, EASY LISTENING: Mood Music

DID YOU HUG YOUR MOTHER TODAY? was Mike Johnson''s first Radio Hit. He wrote the song on 29 April 1982 after seeing a bumper sticker that read "Have You Hugged Your Mother Today?" while he was inching his way through I-70 rush hour traffic in St. Louis, Missouri. His mother immediately adopted it as her own, and often played it back to back with her other favorite, LITTLE BOYS AND DOGGIES. Margaret J. Johnson passed away on 27 September 2004, following a two-year bout with brain tumors. She had just celebrated her 75th birthday on 4 June 2004.

DID YOU HUG YOUR MOTHER TODAY? aired for three weeks straight surrounding Mother''s Day in 1994 on the Michigan Jamboree Radio Show in Sparta and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Shortly after its on-air debut the famous King of the Independent DJs, the late Big John Baldry, called us to say;
***"I can''t have a show! Every time I play it I get calls and they wanna hear it again!" He also sent us a Friday, 22 April 1994 Postcard, stating, "Hi Mike, Want you to know "Have You Hugged Your Mother" is a SUPER GOOD song, and I have played it and it has been requested many times already. Also [Take] "Time Out" is being requested. Thanks for sending me your tape, and I am proud of you and your music... Take care, keep it Country, and may the good Lord watch over you. Sure hope you can make the ALL Independent Country Music week-end in June. I''ll be back atcha later. Take care. Sincerely, "Big John" Baldry."***

Mike drove his Newlon Transfer big-rig up to the 1994 1st. Annual Michigan Jamboree being held at the Sugarbush Campgrounds in Hillsdale Michigan. On his final performance on the last day he and Maine''s 16 year-old yodeling sensation, Mike Preston, received a standing ovation for Mike''s yodeling rendition of Hank Williams "Jambalaya." It was here that Mike also met and became good friends with singer-songwriter Terry Smith, author of the song "THE FAR SIDE BANKS OF JORDAN."
We thought that the attention "Did You Hug Your Mother Today?" received was quite impressive for a 6-1/2 minute ballad. It quickly received the nickname of "the Mother''s Day song" and has become a consistent year-round player on Independent Country Music Radio here and abroad. Particularly on Ed & Jolene Bullard''s "Coal County Country Jamboree Show" [KHKC https://www.tradebit.com & KEOR 1110AM] in Tupelo, Oklahoma and Trudy Burke''s "Make Mine Country" station in Victoria, Australia.

This second Mike Johnson CD is an extended version of the original same-titled 1987 Pata del Lobo Music 6-song Cassette Album. 1. Did You Hug Your Mother Today? 2. Please Don''t Squeeze The Charmin 3. Me And My Friend Jim 4. Pigtails And Bubblegum 5. Little Boys And Doggies 6. Take Time Out, Don''t Take It Out On Your Kid.
Not having enough studio cuts at the time for a 10-song album of unreleased songs, Mike decided to fill in the four new cuts with the "Little Boys And Doggies" and "Please Don''t Squeeze The Charmin" soundtracks from his 1986 Cassette Album "I BELIEVE IN ROY ROGERS." For the CD he dropped "Charmin" and added "SAMMY, I CAN''T BELIEVE I''M FALLIN'', LET''S TAKE IT EASY, SNAKES DON''T SLEEP ON A HOT ROCK, and I HEAR HER WORDS RINGIN''.

Mike created Pata del Lobo Music Publishing in 1982 to take over his music from MAJJ Productions, which he had created in 1976 for his literary and art endeavors. Long before he became involved in music. MAJJ Productions released his first 45rpm, KI NG OF THE FISH-PLEASE DON''T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN in 1981 and in 1983, the cassette album, MIKE JOHNSON''S GUITAR SONGS VOL. 1. Convinced that he should pursue his music a little further, his second 45rpm was released in 1985 under the newly formed Pata del Lobo Music banner. "Lobo" would continue to release his works until Roughshod Records was formed in late 1986 and officially in 1987.

DID YOU HUG YOUR MOTHER TODAY? re-surfaced in April 1994 on a Cassette Single, one of which "Big John" Baldry was one of the very first recipients. The 1999 CD followed and in January 2004 the song appeared on a 17th Anniversary Edition CD, [RCD15-S0104-1] backed with another Mike Johnson ballad, IF THIS OLD TREE COULD TALK. It also appeared solo that year on a "Happy Mother''s Day" CD Special. [RCD16-S0104-2] The 17th Anniversary Edition cover features a photo of a very young Mike Johnson with his mother and two sisters on his grandmother''s front lawn during the 1950s.

Mike Johnson has been performing and yodeling since the mid-1960s. However, it wasn''t until the mid-1970s that he finally decided he wanted to get involved in music on a somewhat regular basis as a songwriter. He soon discovered, as did a lot of others before him, that sometimes you have to travel other roads to get there. Lack of Nashville publisher and label interest caused him to go back to performing, and then producing his songs, using his yodeling as the gimmick to attract attention. Finally, during the 1980s he began to be recognized by his peers on the Independent circuit as a good songwriter.
He has since written over 1200 songs, including more than 60 yodeling songs. His writing has always been spontaneous rather than structured like the book reports he was required to do in elementary school. His main influences spring from things happening around him, old memories suddenly resurfacing, while rehearsing old songs, and old photographs, cards and letters, which incidentally was the subject of a 11 January 2004 Mike Johnson song; "Stacks Of Cards And Letters." The selections on this CD show the emerging talent that helped secure his foothold.

TAKE TIME OUT was written on 8 February 1987, in the wee hours of the morning at the All-Star Motel in El Paso, Texas. Still wired from a beer bash over in Juarez, Mexico, Mike couldn''t sleep. So he decided to get in some guitar practice while watching a late movie. It seemed like every 10 minutes the movie was interrupted by the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse Advertisement "Take Time Out, don''t take it out on your kid." Somewhat annoyed by this constant movie interruption, he focused on the slogan and wrote the song in about an hour.

Based on a personal experience, Mike''s heart-tugging SAMMY [7 August 1980] is a very sentimental favorite that watered the eyes of many of Mike''s fans back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Constantly urged to record it on each Nashville trip he finally he did. Though it was actually written about Mike''s foster-son Todd, the song was inspired by a boy name Sammy pictured in an adoption brochure. It was later released as a CD single with the brochure photo of Sammy on the CD cover. Be sure and have your handkerchief handy when you listen to this one.

ME AND MY FRIEND JIM [18 December 1986] is about one of Mike''s most reliable trucking helpers who worked with him in the summer of 1987. Jim was a hard working young man who also liked music, camping and traveling, so he and Mike hit it off very well, traveling from Texas to Tennessee, getting rowdy and even co-writing a song together about Jim''s girlfriend.

PIGTAILS AND BUBBLEGUM [5 August 1981] sprang from a poem written by Leo P. Maimone, for his girlfriend''s daughters. Leo is a Boy Scout-close friend from 1960, and a hopeless romantic. Mike rewrote a number the verses into a tight set of lyrics and composed the music to this mesmerizing piece.

LITTLE BOYS AND DOGGIES, [5 April 1981] Mike will tell you, is the prettiest piece of music he''s ever composed. It is his all-time favorite, bar none. He wrote this while rehearsing a new song, watching an old Lassie movie on TV, and talking on the telephone with Loron [mentioned in the song] about an upcoming shooting trip.

I CAN''T BELIEVE I''M FALLIN'' [13 November 1983] is a song for everyone who has ever let that special one slip away. Including Mike.

LET''S TAKE IT EASY [2 February 1983] is a let''s not rush things song that was also pitched to Nashville artist John Conlee, while SNAKES DON''T SLEEP ON A HOT ROCK [2 March 1983] is Mike''s Roger Miller influence and rather flippant, self-assured stereotyped male point-of-view on relationships.

I HEAR HER WORDS RINGIN'' [8 June 1983] is a song about a fall-down, stumblin'' drunk, and Mike readily admits that he was nearly three-sheets in the wind when he recorded this one. Actually, IF THIS OLD TREE COULD TALK [23 February 1983] was supposed to be in this slot, but somehow we got distracted [not very difficult ''round here with a dozen things at once are going on] and "Ringin" one got thrown in instead. At any rate, Mike''s trucking runs had been very busy that year and most of the time he could only wave at Nashville as he sped by on I-40 and I-65 with hot loads to Texas and beyond. When things finally slowed down a tad, he called Jim Stanton over at Champ Recording Studio to let him know that he was coming to town. Mike and his trucking buddy, Scott Ronkenin, drank the sun up the next morning. Normally Mike books a two-hour session and comes away with 5 to 6 songs. This time he booked a four-hour session to make up for the lost time. However this time he came away with only four songs.

Mike recounts that session;
"We partied hardy the night before, bar to bar up and down Broadway. The next morning I woke up with my feet sitting in my Chef Salad and couldn''t find my truck keys! Hey! You can''t separate a Sailor from his beer, and I love my beer! Well, I made it to the studio on time and sent Scott to pick up a case of Budweiser for me to loosen up my vocal chords. I started in on that song and all of a sudden the Budweiser kicked in and I started losing my rhythm and forgetting my lyrics. My session musicians were a little better off than me and very, very patient. We took a few coffee breaks and then went at it again and finally [over an hour later] I got through the whole dang song. By that time I was exhausted and really didn''t want to do any more, but I still had other songs. I managed to get through three more songs; AS LONG AS THERE IS MUSIC There''ll Be Hank Williams Too, HOOKED ON RODEO, and I CAN''T BELIEVE I''M FALLIN''. I still amazed that I actually managed to some a decent yodels in "Music" and "Rodeo."

It was standard procedure for Jim to whip up a quick cassette master for me to listen to while on the road and then call him with instructions for the final mix-down. Most of the time he knew exactly what I wanted, but my beer bash kinda threw a monkey through the wrench. The focus was on this particular song and I told him I''d call him down the road. Well, the more I listened to it the more I was became convinced. My return trip sent me through Nashville and I went to listen to the final mix. Jim asked me what kind of changes I wanted and I told him "nada" it was perfect just like it was. He grinned and wagged a finger at me, and said he didn''t change a thing. He said the more he listened to it the more he like it too, cause it had a real down and out, stumblin'' old drunk flavor to it!
"No, I''ve never played any instrument on any of my Nashville sessions. I am not a musician! I play each song once at the beginning of the session so that my session players can get their "numbers" down and from then on they play and I just sing!"

On 1 September 2002 Mike Johnson was inducted into America''s Old-Time Country Music Hall Of Fame by the National Traditional Country Music Association.

"MIKE JOHNSON: BLACK YODEL NO.1, The Song, The Songwriter" is available at: https://www.tradebit.com The last song on that album, "Yeah I''m A Cowboy" is featured on the 25 September 2006 "Rough Guide To Yodel" CD. This compilation featuring performances by 18 world famous Yodelers was produced by the World Music Network in London and has been receiving great international reviews and lots of radio airplay.

"MIKE JOHNSON * YODELING 40 YEARS" featuring 50 yodeling songs written & composed by Mike Johnson released 31 January 2007.

Visit our Roughshod Records store for his new book, "El Latigo, A Little Known Legend of the Tijuana Jail, and other Stories." Take a trip back to 1967 and see what beer-drinking, two-fisted, horseback riding Mike Johnson was up to!

DID YOU HUG YOUR MOTHER TODAY? is an emotional package we are sure will tug at your heart-strings, warm your insides, and become a treasured favorite for years to come.

Joe Arnold, Roughshod Records, Arlington, Va. 22210
Mike Johnson discography at https://www.tradebit.com

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