The life of Johnny Stark
aka John G. Sticco
Johnny was born in Fairview, New Jersey on Febuary 19, 1937. From the earliest age he always wanted to be a singer. Starting his training in opera at a young age. When Johnny was 17 he joined the Air-force and served his term and went back to New Jersey, got a factory job temporally then he decided he wanted to head out west with a friends who worked with him at the factory and they drove to Hollywood in 1956, which was the heyday of Hollywood for singers and actors.
Then Johnny switched to the big band sound. At 19 he moved to Hollywood and started up with the Rock'n'Roll scene. Johnny's first record was "So Lovable", at the age of 20. He recorded a Hit chart 45 record of "Rockin' Billy," which he performed on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Johnny had one of those very rare voices and had a remarkable fresh style of singing and sparked the interest of several different record labels. When Johnny was on the Crystalette records, he had many fan clubs in Hollywood.
After Johnny appeared on American Bandstand, Johnny met Mark Traversino at a club in Southgate, California, where he was appearing with his Band. Johnny jammed with Mark and his Band. Johnny's voice blew Mark away and he told Johnny to look him up in a couple of months, because he would be opening up his own night club, called "The Samba". Johnny worked at that club for about a year. He then went on to perform the circuit of night clubs in the Los Angeles area. Johnny continued his professional relationship with Mark for many years. They worked and wrote many songs together. Mark is Johnny's best friend to this day. Johnny toured all over the U.S. doing local T.V. Shows including Louisiana Hayride, which Elvis also performed on before Johnny. He also opened for Gene Vincent on his show, singing "Rockin' Billy" with Elvis's former Band, The Bill Black Combo. Johnny also worked with Eddy Cochran and Ritchie Valens. Johnny Had mixed with the elite crowd of people through the Hollywood years, Even signed a movie deal to appear in a film called Johnny Reb”. Which was a Civil war movie however the movie fell through then a second shot for him to be a film star with American international and was interviewed by Charlie Wilson but Johnny turned it down do personal reasons.
Through the years, Johnny recorded for Crystalette and Luna Records. He went on to tour throughout the U.S. and Canada with many of the Top Pop Rock Stars, such as Connie Francis, Frankie Avalon and Paul Anka. Returning to Hollywood, he worked clubs all over L.A., from Beverly Hills to the famous Sunset Strip. Then his career led him back to NY, to work the well known nightclubs: The Copacabana, El Morocco and the Latin Quarter. He also performed at the Apollo Theater, to standing ovations. Very few singing artists could make the crossover from pop music to Rock'n'Roll and R&B like Johnny could do. When Johnny was called back to perform at the Hollywood Palladium, he went back in the studio and recorded "Good, Good, Woman" and "I don't need no doctor" for Gene Norman's Crescendo Records, which was another chart record for Johnny. Johnny was also given the opportunity to replace the lead singer of two bands including Blood sweat and tears and the rascals. However when the lead singers heard about Johnny and knew of his voice power they came running back to their band. He also had two opportunities to meet Elvis as Elvis had heard about Johnny's great talent but do to prior commitments he was not able to meet up with Elvis. Some of the people that johnny mingled with were, Tony Bennett, Elvis band members by jamming with them, Rock Marciano, Dustin Hoffman, John Barrymore Jr, Gene Vincent who thought Johnny had a awesome voice out in Louisiana, comedian Lenny Bruce, Eddie Cochran and the list goes on.
He stayed in the L.A. Area, where he was in great demand at all the popular hot spots in town. Major Hotel Casinos in Las Vegas, Tahoe and Reno soon beckoned Johnny to come and perform for his loving fans. In 1975 he did a recording of the James Brown song I Feel Good" with the Tonight Show Band led by Tommy Neusom with the help of the famous Jazz Pole winner, Bassist "Chubby Jackson" and his son Duffy Jackson, who was then working with Sammy Davis Jr as his Drummer. Johnny also sang to a all black audience and got standing ovations at The Apollo theater for his soulful singing. Johnny was never not singing or recording for various record labels or singing in clubs etc. He was truly a great entertainer, he was classically trained first in opera back in New Jersey as a child by Enrico Caruso's student. Johnny was recognized as a child prodigy. Johnny never gave up his passion for the love of music. Johnny had re-located to Las Vegas in 2021 and was planning to do more recordings and live performances when sadly johnny passed away due to not fully recovering from a stroke, Johnny was 84.
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