Terry ‘Buzzy’ Johnson At No. 1

You might not expect to find The Flamingos’ Terry “Buzzy” Johnson hanging out at the top of the Euro Indie Music Chart.  But the musical chameleon who voiced the group’s classic version of “I Only Have Eyes For You” has recently seen two of his dance singles hit No. 1.

‘Knock Knock (Let Me In)’ Cover
– ‘Knock Knock (Let Me In)’ Cover

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Johnson, who worked at Motown during the 1960s where he co-wrote several songs with Smokey Robinson including The Miracles hits, “Baby, Baby Don’t Cry,” “I Don’t Blame You At All” and “Here I Go Again,” has always kept in touch with the varied stylings inhabiting popular music.  The results are recordings that sound as fresh as anything receiving heavy rotation on today’s radio stations.

The summer of ’17 finds Johnson watching his singles climb the Euro Indie Music Chart. First out of the box was the very danceable “Knock Knock (Let Me In),” produced by the artist and his writing / producing partner / Flamingos manager Theresa Trigg, who also provides a hip hop interlude on the recording.

Within two months of its late April release, “Knock Knock (Let Me In)” was the king of the Euro Indie Music Chart hill for four weeks, spent three weeks in the Top Five and then went back up to No. 1.   The four consecutive weeks at No. 1 followed by a return to the top slot was a first for the fan-powered listing.

Of course, there was a second single.  “Ooh Ya Wit” featuring  Flamingos member Starling Newsome was released July 19 and hit the chart’s Top Ten three weeks later.  As of Sept. 5 the song was sitting pretty at the top of the Euro Indie Music Chart. 

“[The song shipped] without a picture or a bio,” Trigg told Pollstar.  “Because we didn’t want the song to be pre-judged.  … All we did was say, ‘New production group called Team Johnson. Terry and Theresa collaborating with various other producers cranking out the hits!’”

But Euro radio stations, as well as the BBC, wanted to know who was singing on “Knock Knock (Let Me In).” When a few media outlets were clued in, the response was an unanimous “No freakin’ way.”

“Once it was No. 1, [the distributor] let them know it was me,” Johnson said.

“But the fans still didn’t know,” added Trigg.

Having a song topping the Euro Indie Chart also led to an unforeseen problem in listing Terry Johnson because a bluesman had already released records under the “Terry ‘Mojo’ Johnson” moniker.  That’s why “Ooh Ya Wit” is credited to “Terry ‘Buzzy’ Johnson.”  As of Aug. 29, “Ooh Ya Wit” was perched atop the same chart.

 The new singles aren’t Team Johnson’s only project.  Johnson and Trigg co-produced a new recording of “I Only Have Eyes For You” that was cut by Boyz II Men for the group’s new Under The Streetlight album, due out Oct. 20.

Of course, the Flamingos also keep Johnson and Trigg busy.  The group is already locking in its 2018 dates, including a March “Rockin’ The Caribbean” cruise that includes appearances by former Sha Na Na members  Jon “Bowzer” Bauman and Johnny Contardo, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon and Brian Hyland.

Meanwhile, the members of Team Johnson are keeping their eyes on the Euro Indie Music Chart.

“The kids love it,” Johnson continued.  “They’re voting and voting and keeping it No. 1.  Buying it, downloading and streaming it.  I had no idea it was going to hit like this.  I mean, I was praying for something like this, it’s like a dream come true.”

Terry Johnson spoke with Pollstar in 2013.  You can revisit the interview via this link.