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.

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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