Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Maddox, Johnny (John Sheppard Maddox, Jr.)

Maddox, Johnny [John Sheppard Maddox, Jr.], piano; b. Gallatin, TN, 4 August 1927. His father, John Sheppard Maddox (1897-1959), was also a musician. His mother was Ann Pryor (Maddox) (b. 1903 - d. 1943). He has two sisters, Ada Key (b. 1931) and Betty Maddox Cothron (b. 1933 - d. 1991). His brother was Howard Kenneth Maddox (b. 1929 - d 1996). Johhny is divorced but has four children: John Sheppard Maddox III, Scott Layton Maddox Randolph Peyton Maddox, Richard Arnold Maddox.

Maddox is one of the leading ragtime piano players still alive.  He was already America's number one jukebox artist when in 1954 he recorded the first all-piano record in history, "The Crazy Otto Medley".  It spent 14 weeks at the top of the charts, and became the first ragtime record to sell over 1,000,000 copies, eventually selling over 2,000,000.  His interest in the era of ragtime and blues was fueled by his Aunt Zula Cothron.  She played ragtime piano at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, and taught Johnny to play.  Johnny played his first public concert when he was only five.  He began his professional career when he was 12 years old. Johnny worked with his friend, Randy Wood, at Randy's Record Shop in Gallatin when Randy launched Dot Records in 1950.  In fact, Johnny was the first artist of Dot Records, and his instant first success helped build the label into one of the most successful labels in the 50's.  His very first single "Crazy Bone Rag" with "St. Louis Tickle" on the flip side sold over 22,000 copies in 5 weeks.  He continued to record for Dot through their acquisition by MCA into the 1970's.  During his career with Dot and MCA, Johnny recorded 50 albums and 87 singles.  From these he racked up 9 gold singles with total record sales of over 11,000,000. Johnny even has his own star on Hollywood Boulevard.  Johnny knew and played with many of the leading ragtime artists as well as many of the major artists of the 50's including: Patsy Cline, Eddie Arnold, W. C. Handy, Joe Jordan, Charles L. Johnson, Clyde McCoy, Ted Lewis, Tony Pastor, Lawrence Welk, Sammy Kay and Eddy Howard.  Johnny has played in every state except Oregon and Hawaii.  He has played Las Vegas and appeared on countless shows including Jack Parr's, Milton Berle's and Patti Page's Big Record Show. Johnny is a noted musicologist and collector of ragtime and early American music.  His collection includes over 30,000 78rpm records, Edison wax cylinders and piano rolls.  His sheet music collection is conservatively estimated at 200,000 pieces, 3,000 of which he knows by heart.

Authentic Ragtime, 1898-1909 as played by Johnny Maddox (1952); Johnny Maddox (1953); Johnny Maddox Plays Crazy Otto; 88 in Ragtime (1955); Ragtime Melodies (1955); Johnny Maddox Plays (1956); Tap Dance Rhythms (1956); King of Ragtime (1957); The Thirties In Ragtime (1957); My Old Flames (1957); Ragtime Piano 1917-18 (1958); Johnny Maddox Plays The Million Sellers (1958); Dixieland Blues (1959); Old Fashioned Love (1959); Crazy Otto Piano (1960); Johnny Maddox Plays More Million Sellers (1960); The World's Greatest Piano Rolls Volume 1 (1960); Near You (1960); Sabre Dance (with Paul Smith) (1961); Worlds Greatest Piano Rolls, Volume 2 (1962); Worlds Greatest Piano Rolls, Volume 3 (1962); Worlds Greatest Piano Rolls, Volume 4 (1962); Ragtime Twenties (1963); Ragtime Duets (1963); Memphis (1963); Million Sellers, Volume 3 (1963); Raggin' The Blues (1965); Ragtime By Request (1965); More Ragtime 20's (1965); World's Greatest Piano Rolls Vol. 5 (1966); World's Great est Piano Rolls Vol. 6 (1966); World's Greatest Piano Rolls Vol. 7 (1966); Ragtime Memories (1966); Ragtime Piano Man (1966); Second Hand Rose (1967); Golden Hits: Collector's Items All Time Original Hits (1967)

Contact information:
Johnny Maddox
Crazy Otto Music, Inc.
2250 Court Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104
V: 901-274-4842
F: 901-272-3968

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