Johnny

Johnny

[jon-ee]
Unitas, Johnny, 1933-2002, American football player, widely regarded as the greatest professional quarterback of all time; b. Pittsburgh. After playing for the Univ. of Louisville, Unitas was signed in 1955 by the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers but released before the season started, and subsequently played semiprofessional football before signing with the Baltimore Colts in 1956. By his retirement in 1974 (the last season with the San Diego Chargers) he held career records for attempted passes, completions, yards gained passing, touchdown passes, and other achievements. Although most marks were later eclipsed, he played in an era when the rules made passing more difficult. Noted for his ability to call plays from the line of scrimmage, Unitas was the Associated Press Player of the Decade (1960s), was the NFL's most valuable player in 1957, 1964, and 1967, and was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

See biography by L. Sahadi (2004).

Carson, Johnny, 1925-2005, American television entertainer, b. Corning, Iowa. Carson, who grew up in Nebraska, began his career as a magician, then wrote comedy sketches for radio and hosted daytime television quiz shows. From 1962 to 1992 he hosted "The Tonight Show," where the personable demeanor and wry humor he displayed in his monologues, comedy sketches, and interviews were vital to making it America's most popular late-night program.
Mercer, Johnny (John Herndon Mercer), 1909-76, American lyricist and songwriter, b. Savannah, Ga. Mercer, who was one of American popular music's most accomplished wordsmiths, began writing songs as a teenager; in 1929 he moved to New York City, where he worked as an actor and a singer. In 1933 he had his first hit, "Lazybones," with music by Hoagy Carmichael. Two years later he moved to Hollywood, where he wrote lyrics for numerous musicals and other movies. Collaborating with Harold Arlen, Harry Warren, Jimmy McHugh, Jerome Kern, and others, he wrote the words for such classics as "Hooray for Hollywood" (1937), "Blues in the Night" (1941), "Skylark" (1942), "One for My Baby" (1943), and "Come Rain or Come Shine" (1946). He was nominated for 18 best-song Oscars and won 4 times, including for "Moon River" in 1961 and "Days of Wine and Roses" in 1962, both with music by Henry Mancini. Mercer also cofounded (1942) Capitol Records.

See biographies by P. Furia (2003) and G. Lees (2004).

Cash, Johnny, 1932-2003, American singer and songwriter, b. Kingsland, Ark. Born to a farm family, he went to Memphis in 1955 and recorded hits such as "I Walk the Line" (1956) and "Ring of Fire" (1963), written with his second wife, singer June Carter Cash of the famous country dynasty (see Carter family). A major figure in country and western music, Cash lent a unique note of grace and gravitas to the genre with his all-black wardrobe redolent of rebellion and mourning, his rumbling bass-baritone voice, and the often tragic subject matter of his songs. Nonetheless, one of his biggest hits was the humorous "A Boy Named Sue" (1969). Cash, who mingled elements of folk, country, and rock in his music, won 11 Grammies and was elected to both the Country Music and Rock and Roll hall of fames. Noted for his performances at prisons and his appearances in concert, on television, and in films, he continued to tour until 1997.

See his autobiography (1997); H. George-Warren and M. Evans, Johnny Cash in His Own Words (2003); M. Streissguth, ed., Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Reader (2002); biographies by S. Dolan (1996), F. Moriarty (1998), G. Campbell (2003), S. Miller (2003), and M. Streissguth (2006); V. Cash, I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny (2007).

Appleseed, Johnny: see Chapman, John.
in full John Constantine Unitas

(born May 7, 1933, Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.—died Sept. 11, 2002, Timonium, Md.) U.S. football quarterback. After playing for the University of Louisville, he was selected in the NFL draft, though he played semiprofessionally before signing with the Baltimore Colts. From 1956 to 1972, he led the Colts to five league championship games (1958, 1959, 1964, 1968, 1970) and two Super Bowl games (1969, 1971); the Colts won h1s in 1958, 1959, and 1971. After one season with the San Diego Chargers (1973), Unitas retired with 22 NFL records to his name. Considered by many to be the league's greatest quarterback, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Learn more about Unitas, Johnny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. John Herndon Mercer

(born Nov. 18, 1909, Savannah, Ga., U.S.—died June 25, 1976, Bel Air, Calif.) U.S. songwriter. After moving to New York City in the late 1920s, Mercer began to write lyrics while supporting himself as an actor. He later joined Paul Whiteman's orchestra as singer and master of ceremonies. In 1939 he joined Benny Goodman's Camel Caravan radio show. In 1942 Mercer cofounded Capitol Records. On Broadway, he collaborated with Harold Arlen on St. Louis Woman (1946) and Saratoga (1959) and also provided lyrics for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Li'l Abner (1956), and Foxy (1964). His songs for films won four Academy Awards. He collaborated with composers such as Hoagy Carmichael, Henry Mancini, Jerome Kern, and Jimmy Van Heusen and is credited with more than 1,000 lyrics, including those for “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive,” “One for My Baby,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “Moon River.”

Learn more about Mercer, Johnny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

in full John Constantine Unitas

(born May 7, 1933, Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.—died Sept. 11, 2002, Timonium, Md.) U.S. football quarterback. After playing for the University of Louisville, he was selected in the NFL draft, though he played semiprofessionally before signing with the Baltimore Colts. From 1956 to 1972, he led the Colts to five league championship games (1958, 1959, 1964, 1968, 1970) and two Super Bowl games (1969, 1971); the Colts won h1s in 1958, 1959, and 1971. After one season with the San Diego Chargers (1973), Unitas retired with 22 NFL records to his name. Considered by many to be the league's greatest quarterback, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Learn more about Unitas, Johnny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. John Herndon Mercer

(born Nov. 18, 1909, Savannah, Ga., U.S.—died June 25, 1976, Bel Air, Calif.) U.S. songwriter. After moving to New York City in the late 1920s, Mercer began to write lyrics while supporting himself as an actor. He later joined Paul Whiteman's orchestra as singer and master of ceremonies. In 1939 he joined Benny Goodman's Camel Caravan radio show. In 1942 Mercer cofounded Capitol Records. On Broadway, he collaborated with Harold Arlen on St. Louis Woman (1946) and Saratoga (1959) and also provided lyrics for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Li'l Abner (1956), and Foxy (1964). His songs for films won four Academy Awards. He collaborated with composers such as Hoagy Carmichael, Henry Mancini, Jerome Kern, and Jimmy Van Heusen and is credited with more than 1,000 lyrics, including those for “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive,” “One for My Baby,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “Moon River.”

Learn more about Mercer, Johnny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. J.R. Cash

(born Feb. 26, 1932, Kingsland, Ark., U.S.—died Sept. 12, 2003, Nashville, Tenn.) U.S. singer and songwriter. He learned guitar and began writing songs during military service in the early 1950s. Settling in Memphis, he earned regular appearances on Louisiana Hayride and the Grand Ole Opry with hits such as “Hey, Porter,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “I Walk the Line.” By 1957 Cash was acknowledged the top country music artist. His popularity waned for a time because of health and drug addiction problems, but his album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968) led to his rediscovery by a wider audience. In 1968 he married June Carter of the Carter Family, with whom he had worked since 1961. In 1994 he released American Recordings, which was a critical and popular success and won him a new generation of fans. His later albums include American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002). Cash was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. His autobiographies Man in Black and Cash (cowritten with Patrick Carr) were published in 1975 and 1997, respectively.

Learn more about Cash, Johnny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

in full John William Carson

(born Oct. 23, 1925, Corning, Iowa, U.S.—died Jan. 23, 2005, Los Angeles, Calif.) U.S. television personality. He worked as a radio announcer and television comedy writer before hosting several television quiz shows (1955–62). As the long-standing host of The Tonight Show (1962–92), he was noted for his wry monologues, comedy sketches, and genial banter, and the program became a staple for a large and faithful late-night audience.

Learn more about Carson, Johnny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. John Chapman

(born Sept. 26, 1774, Leominster, Mass.—died March 18?, 1845, near Ft. Wayne, Ind., U.S.) U.S. pioneer and folk hero. He was trained as a nurseryman and began circa 1800 collecting apple seeds from cider presses in Pennsylvania. He then traveled west to the Ohio River valley, planting apple seeds along the way. He tended 1,200 acres of his own orchards and was responsible for hundreds of square miles of others, having sold or given away thousands of apple seedlings to pioneers. His kind and generous nature, devout spirituality, affinity for the Indians and the wilderness, and eccentric appearance (including bare feet, a coffee-sack shirt, and a mush pan for a hat) helped make him a figure of legend.

Learn more about Appleseed, Johnny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. J.R. Cash

(born Feb. 26, 1932, Kingsland, Ark., U.S.—died Sept. 12, 2003, Nashville, Tenn.) U.S. singer and songwriter. He learned guitar and began writing songs during military service in the early 1950s. Settling in Memphis, he earned regular appearances on Louisiana Hayride and the Grand Ole Opry with hits such as “Hey, Porter,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “I Walk the Line.” By 1957 Cash was acknowledged the top country music artist. His popularity waned for a time because of health and drug addiction problems, but his album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968) led to his rediscovery by a wider audience. In 1968 he married June Carter of the Carter Family, with whom he had worked since 1961. In 1994 he released American Recordings, which was a critical and popular success and won him a new generation of fans. His later albums include American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002). Cash was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. His autobiographies Man in Black and Cash (cowritten with Patrick Carr) were published in 1975 and 1997, respectively.

Learn more about Cash, Johnny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

in full John William Carson

(born Oct. 23, 1925, Corning, Iowa, U.S.—died Jan. 23, 2005, Los Angeles, Calif.) U.S. television personality. He worked as a radio announcer and television comedy writer before hosting several television quiz shows (1955–62). As the long-standing host of The Tonight Show (1962–92), he was noted for his wry monologues, comedy sketches, and genial banter, and the program became a staple for a large and faithful late-night audience.

Learn more about Carson, Johnny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Johnny or Johnnie is the diminutive form of the common English name John.

Johnny may also refer to:

a cat's liver

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