Marv Earl Johnson (October 15, 1938 – May 16, 1993) was an American R&B and soul singer, notable for performing on the first record issued by Tamla Records, which later became Motown.
Johnson was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1938. He began his career singing with a doo-wop group, the Serenaders, in the mid-1950s. With budding talents not only as a singer but also as a songwriter and pianist, he was discovered by Berry Gordy while Johnson performed at a carnival. Gordy had already decided to form his first record label, Tamla, and Johnson's recording of their song "Come to Me" was the label's first single, released in May 1959. The fledgling label did not have national distribution, so the song was released by United Artists. It reached number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Johnson went on to co-write another four songs with Gordy. After he issued the first release for the Tamla (Motown) label, Johnson was signed by United Artists. He released three albums and several singles for UA but continued to record in Motown’s homegrown studios at Hitsville USA.
Between 1959 and 1961, Johnson issued nine Billboard Hot 100 singles, including two Top 10's. The first of them was "You Got What It Takes", which reached number 10 in the US and number 7 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. In the United Kingdom, "You Got What It Takes" reached number 7 in 1960, and both "I Love the Way You Love" and "Ain't Gonna Be That Way" made the UK chart. "I Love the Way You Love" reached number 9. Johnson had his final US Top 40 single in 1960 with "(You've Got To) Move Two Mountains". It also sold a million copies, giving him his second gold disc.
Johnson had many hits in Australia, with a total of eight Top 40 hits, including three chart-toppers. "Come to Me" was released in Australia on Emi's London Records (as were most of his Australian releases) and reached number 16 on the 2UE Top 40 in Sydney. "You Got What It Takes" was his biggest Australian hit, topping the national charts for over 16 weeks in 1960. After "I Love The Way You Love" became a national Top 10 hit in mid-1960, Johnson flew to Australia to meet the entrepreneur Lee Gordon, the creator of the radio program Big Show, and performed "Twist It Up" on the September Big Show. At the top of the bill were Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, and James Darren with Jackie Wilson, Johnson, and Barry Mann. They were supported by Johnny O'Keefe, the Delltones and Col Joye.
Johnson's songs "Happy Days" and "Merry-Go-Round" (both written by Berry Gordy) were his last chart successes for the United Artists label. Although they did not reach the US Top 40, they performed well on the R&B charts, peaking at number 7 and number 26, respectively, in 1961. Further significant chart action proved elusive, and his contract with United Artists was eventually dropped. He then re-signed with Motown in 1964, writing and producing as well as recording. "Why Do You Want to Let Me Go" was his first Motown single after he rejoined the company, released by Motown's Gordy subsidiary in May 1965. Johnson's final US chart appearance was "I Miss You Baby (How I Miss You)", which was a minor hit, reaching number 39 on the R&B chart in April 1966. His next release, "I'll Pick a Rose for My Rose", issued in 1968, failed to chart; it was his last American single.
Marv Johnson - I Miss You Baby (How I Miss You) / Bad Girl
UK Tamla Motown TMG 713 solid centre (1969).
The vinyl record has remained in excellent condition.
Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.
Both record centre labels are free from tears, stains or stickers.
The record comes with a company paper sleeve.