March 25, 2010

The first time I met Johnny Maestro was in 1959 at the stage door of an Alan Freed Rock and Roll Show. He was signing autographs and I was looking for a way to sneak backstage to get discovered. When Johnny and the Crests were taken backstage, I acted like I was part of the group and walked in with them.

Johnny could have busted me, but he didn’t. I had a feeling he grew up on the mean streets like I did, and could identify with my desire to do anything to become a Rock and Roll Star!

From “16 Candles”, “The Angels Listened In”, “Step By Step”, “Trouble In Paradise” Johnny proved that he not only had a great voice, but also an identifiable one as well. You could turn on the radio during any part of one of his records, and know exactly who you were listening to…even if you never heard the song before.

A few years after the Crests broke up, I was up with Neil Bogart at Buddah and he played me a new record he was about to release. The minute he dropped the needle on “The Worst That Could Happen” by The Brooklyn Bridge I knew exactly who the lead singer was!


Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne

Link to news, funeral arrangements and memorial services updated hourly. Courtesy of Clay Cole



  1. Chris Says:

    What A Set Of Pipes Johnny Had!
    He Made Every Song Sound Brilliant But No More So Than His Take On My Father’s Deep Soul Monster Of A Song “I Never Knew This Kind Of Hurt Before”. Originally Recorded By Bluesman Jimmy Witherspoon Johnny Made The Number Soar To About As High As A Song Can Go with Impassioned Intensity.
    As A Fan I Am Sadened At The Loss… As A Fan I Am Also Inspired To Share Johnny’s Amazing, Beautiful, And powerfully Great Talent With Anyone Willing To Listen.
    Everytime We Lose Such A Great Star The Title Of My Father’s Song Takes On Even More Meaning.
    With Love & Respect Here Is Johny Maestro Performing The Buddy Scott & Jimmy Radcliffe Song:
    “I Never Knew This Kind Of Hurt Before”

      • BONNIE Says:

        where can i find the lyrics to this song ?

        i love all of johnnie’s songs but ehen i heard this just a couple of days ago it just blew me away. I have searched the internet lyrics sits and can’t find them. I searched under the one who wrote it and still can’t find the lyrics. I was 5 yrs old when i heard 16 candles and I fell in love with the song and a beautiful voice. EVERYTHING THAT I’VE HEARD ABOUT JOHNNY POINTS TO HIM BEING A VERY PRECIOUS HUMAM BEING. HE WILL BE SADLY MISSED BY ALL WHO KNEW AND LOVED HIM AND HIS MUSIC.

    • Susan Says:

      Chris, Where can I get a copy of the song, “I Never Knew This Kind of Hurt Before” by Johnny Maestro? That is an amazing recording – I never heard it until you posted it. What a voice Johnny had. We will all miss him so much.

  2. Brooks Arthur Says:

    The losses are painful Artie. Johnny Maestro especially.


  3. From the time Johnny sang My Juanita and Sweetest One on Joyce Records 52/53 years ago he learned how to keep his voice so strong and looked very healthy. Losing Johnny is very very sad for me. Thank you for letting us know but this is tough news. Eddie OLoughlin

  4. Roy rodriguez Says:

    Thank you Artie for this tribute to Johnny,as this is very sand news for myself and for all of his fans.His music will keep his memory alive for all of us.Roy

  5. Marva Holiday Says:

    Thank you Artie. — I am always sorry to learn of the passing of a singer I grew up listening to, but I took this death particularly hard. — He’s one of my all time favorite singers.

    He will be missed. – Johnny Maestro R.I.P.

  6. Ken G. Says:

    Thanks for passing along the news but more importantly for reminding us of his enormous talent. His voice was/is one for the ages and it’s sad that our business of music is such that so many greats are seemingly forgotten long before they’re gone…and then they show up on a PBS special to give us all a lesson in professionalism and class. We all learn just a little bit more every time we hear him sing. That band in heaven must really be rockin’ tonight!

  7. Dennis Colasuonno Says:

    Thanks Artie for the tribute to Johnny its people like you that keep this music alive. Johnny is and will always be Mr.Maestro one of the greatest voices of our time. God Bless You Johnny and now it is time for the Angels to listen in. Rest In Peace.

  8. I was so saddened to hear to hear about Johnny Maestro passng. My husband and I were on a cruise with Jon Bouman (Bouser). One week after his last performance. It was mentioned that Johnny had a blood disorder that did not allow him to fly. I had know idea just how serious it was. I was shocked on Thurs, when I heard the news.
    I have seen Johnny in concert many times. I adored him and as many others will certainly miss him.

  9. Jack Carone Says:

    Artie, I was also surprised and saddened to learn of Johhny’s passing here. I recently watched the PBS special featuring Johhny with renewed respect. He seemed strong and undiminished.
    We never know the schedule of life and death, fortunately we have a lasting record of this wonderful manifestation of the Musical Spirit.
    I feel for his friends and family, and hope they find peace.

  10. Steveo Says:

    I enjoyed Johnny’s voice way back from ’59 when I
    was a kid..We loved going into “Marty’s Music” shop on the outdoor mezzaine part of the West Covina, Ca. Mall, and having my mom by me 45 rpm hits by Lloyd Price, Johnny Maestro, Clyde Mc Phatter, etc..glad I got to see Johnny on the PBS rock & roll oldies show…Johnny Maestro, R.I.P.


  11. Elena Jacinto Says:

    I still cannot believe it! I haven’t been able to think of anything else since I heard the news. His voice was truly inspirational. What a loss! May his family and friends find comfort in their memories of him…today and always! Johnny…I wish you peace and harmony…forever!

  12. Stephanie Says:

    RIP Johnny Maestro. I loved seeing him on the PBS specials and he never lost his voice or looks. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

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