Hello, Johnnie & Joe were a R&B vocal duo from the Bronx, New York. Johnnie Louise Richardson born on June 29, 1935 in Montgomery, Alabama and Joe Rivers Born in 1937 in Charleston, South Carolina, began singing together in 1957 and released several single records on Chess Records. Johnnie & Joe were under contract with J&S Records, their records were leased to Chess Records for national distribution. Johnnie was the daughter of J&S Records owner, Zelma “Zell” Sanders, who had been a touring member of The Jaynetts.
Their first hit record made its Billboard R&B chart debut on January 12, 1957. Their hit I’LL BE SPINNING became a #10 hit record on the R&B chart but did not chart on the Pop chart, the Top 100. Their follow-up record became one of most popular and most played oldies of the era, OVER THE MOUNTAIN, ACROSS THE SEA made its R&B debut on May 6, 1957 and became a huge hit at #3. The single remained on the Billboard R&B chart for 16 weeks. On May 13, 1957 the single made its Billboard Top 100 debut, reaching #8 and remaining on the chart for 22 weeks. Johnnie & Joe struck gold with their hit record, as sales went over the 1 million mark, they were awarded a “Gold Record”. The “B” side of OVER THE MOUNTAIN, ACROSS THE SEA was also a hit on the R&B chart, MY BABY’S GONE, ON, ON climbed to #15, but did not chart on the Top 100.
That would be the end of the hit records, OVER THE MOUNTAIN, ACROSS THE SEA would be re-issued in 1960 and chart at #89. Johnnie & Joe sang in the late 1960’s and during the 1970’s and 1980’s they performed at oldies concerts. In 1982 they made an album that the critics adored “Kingdom of Love”, but there would not be any hit single records from the album.
In October of 1988 Johnnie Richardson died of a stroke at the age of 53. Their million-selling, OVER THE MOUNTAIN, ACROSS THE SEA is a legendary tune from this wonderful duo. Their hit is a regular on oldies and doo-wop radio. It is one of the most popular oldies of the 1950’s and is a classic from the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”.