David Johnson (1930 – 1997) lived in Elba, Alabama and was a musician and a visionary artist.
How We Helped:
Music Maker first connected with David Johnson in 1995. The organization has helped him relocate apartments and has provided him with a monthly stipend for prescription medicine. David is featured on recorded compilations, and has a solo CD in the works with Music Maker. He has had the opportunity to play at the Savannah Music Festival, Portsmouth Blues Festival, and shows throughout North Carolina. David is featured in the book Music Makers: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America.
He was well described by Swedish blues researcher Bengt Olson who wrote, “David lives in a block-house… he’s probably the most amazing man I’ve seen. A technical wizard for sure. He’s got little education and works out his creations with little or no help from what other people have found out before him. Builds airplanes and robots out of second hand refrigerators and car parts- in fact most anything you can imagine. In his garden, along the road, is a line of dummies driving imitations of airplanes and buggies, getting their power from the winds. David knows a lot about herbs and their medical use, all of which he learned from his father who was an old herb doctor himself… He carries a pocketful of harmonicas in different keys all the time. On Saturday afternoons he blows with a white rock band outside Bradshaw’s Grocery… However, most of the time David Johnson’s brain is busy working towards fulfillment of his master plan, a rocket.”