Johnny Rivers
Appearing at The Whiskey-A-Go-Go in 1965

Midnight Special
#20 in 1965


John Henry Ramistella, was born on November 7, 1942 in New York City, New York. The Ramistella family moved from New York to Baton Rouge, Louisiana when John was five years old. On a trip back to New York in 1958, he met Alan Freed who advised him to change his name, so Johnny Ramistella became Johnny Rivers after the Mississippi River that flows near Baton Rouge. In 1964, Elmer Valentine then gave Rivers a one-year contract to open his new club, Whiskey a Go Go, on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Into 1965, Rivers continued to record mostly live, Go Go style records including "Maybellene" (another Berry cover), which he followed "Mountain of Love", "Midnight Special", "Seventh Son" (written by Willie Dixon) and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" (written by Pete Seeger), all of which were hits. In all, Rivers had 9 top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and 17 in the top 40 from 1964 to 1977. In total, he has sold well over 25 million records.
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