leejohnson's current selection is:
by The Piglets
by The Piglets
I think by now we all know which reviled character was behind this one-off hit for 'The Piglets' (a purely studio confection). I alluded to it as much, if I recall, when I posted this song to "This Is My Jam" all those years ago. [ http://www.thisismyjam.com/song/the-piglets/johnny-reggae?with=57a7c5m ]
So, no need to rake the muck all over again. Let's focus on stuff about this tune that we DON'T necessarily know.
In 2013, from her location in the beautiful Devon resort of Dawlish, Sally Porch (Australian-born artist, writer, photographer and blogger) uploaded a great anecdote about the song to her self-named website. She's married to Englishman Chris, and they seem to love cycling out enjoying the views and the coastal scenes (I don't blame them!):
Johnny Reggae Reggae...
Posted on 04/09/2013
If you think that's a peculiar title for my blog post today, well, it's Chris's fault... if there is any blame to be attached to the consequences of reading this particular entry. I will explain...
After my horrible breakfast of whole-grain porridge (back to the Dukan diet now that all our visitors have gone home), Chris and I were cycling along to Cockwood Harbour when my husband suddenly announced that he had a confession to make, and it was something rather embarrassing. I braced myself for the worst.
"I had a terrible night's sleep last night," he began.
"Not too shocking a confession so far," I thought, but didn't actually say anything, especially as he wouldn't have heard me because at that point a pedestrian came along the cycle-path and Chris had to drop back behind me. And he's a tad deaf.
Once again two-abreast, Chris continued...
"You know that awful song, 'Johnny Reggae Reggae', from the Seventies? I never even liked it then, or listened to it, except that I must have heard it being played by other people..."
"Oh, I vaguely remember. How does it go again?" I asked.
"You know, a girl with an Essex accent sings, 'Reggae, Reggae, Reggae, here comes Johnny Reggae, Reggae, Reggae, Reggae, lay it on me'" Chris sang.
"Johnny Reggae Reggae," I started singing along too, "How does it go? Johnny Reggae Reggae...?"
"Here comes Johnny Reggae, Reggae, Reggae, Reggae, lay it on me. Yes, well, last night that awful song was an earworm in my head!"
"Poor you," I commiserated, "How does it go again? Johnny Reggae… Reggae, Reggae, Lay it on me. Was that it?" I asked.
"That was just the chorus …. 'Here comes Johnny Reggae...'"
And Chris and I sang "Johnny Reggae, Reggae, Reggae…" while we flew past a bus stop, and three old ladies and one man turned their heads and laughed as we passed by singing, "Lay it on me!" Maybe they remembered the terrible song – perhaps they had suffered similarly sleepless nights as a result of earworms, as Chris had done.
[ A bit more at: http://www.sallyporch.co.uk/2013/09/04/johnny-reggae-reggae/ - and, horror of horrors, she's got a comment at the bottom of the blog page from ... er, um ... him, you know ... I said I wasn't going to say his name! ]
The lead vocal is variously attributed to actress Adrienne Posta, Kay Barry or Barbara Kay, but was definitely not the late EastEnders actress Wendy Richard, as so many people like to think.
Deemed not suitable for the US market, it was never released there. In the UK, it reached No. 3 on November 20th 1971 while staying in the Top 20 for eight weeks.
1971 - Bell Records - United Kingdom
Posted: 11th June 2019