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Johnny Fortune fortune
Johnny Fortune (1943-2006), from Warren, Ohio was a guitarist (real name John Sudetta) who helped to kickstart the instrumental surf sound via his 1963 hit Soul Surfer (on which his 10-year old brother played drums). He performed session work for Sam Cooke (playing guitar on Chain Gang), Glen Campbell and the Beach Boys among others. Fortune had learned the guitar at 12 and the majority of his songs were self-penned (Soul Surfer had apparently been written in the back of a car on the way to the studio).

His 1964 single Siboney was a local hit in Los Angeles, but it was the B-side, Dragster, opening with motor racing track sound effects, that caught the attention of a 25-year old Peel. The latter song (like Fortune's earliest successes, issued on the Park Avenue label) became JP's signature tune for his BFBS shows from 1989 until the end of their run, and was later found in John Peel's Record Box.

Fortune taught at a music store during the 1970s and played live regularly (in a bizarre range of genres). During his later career he switched to country (and to vocals as opposed to instrumental music) and was nominated for a Nashville Music Trailblazer award in 1997. Sammy Hagar (Montrose) was said to have labelled him the world's greatest guitarist. [1]

Festive Fifty Entries

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    Johnny Fortune - Soul Surfer - 45rpm Surf Instro! 1963

    Johnny Fortune - Soul Surfer - 45rpm Surf Instro! 1963

Sessions

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Other Shows Played

External Links