Feb. 2, 2006 - It was with great sadness that I read about Johnny Fortunes passing. I had been trying to
contact him over the past year but to no avail.
He and I were buddies in the 50's.
Johnny's real name was John Sudetta and was from the Cleveland area in Ohio. Newton Falls to be
I met him when I was 16. I was just getting into bands and somehow we linked up through
his older brother. They had made a record and needed someone to guide them through the
Columbus, Ohio music scene. We had some fun experiences together.
Johnny was younger than I but was at 13 or 14 an amazing guitar player. Played Chet Atkins
style on a Gretsch Country Gentleman in those days. His Brothers Vince and Al played bass
and drums. He had an older Brother whose name escapes me who acted as their manager.
His Sister Marty and I corresponded off and on while I was in the Air Force in Germany.
The last time I saw him was when they ask me to do a show at the Ohio State Fair in 1961
with them. I remember that I sang "Move it" and "Matchbox" with them that afternoon.
It was the first time that I ever sang "Move it" in the US.
The record that Tapio spoke of was the one that was recorded in 56. It was originally
released on "Arhaven" records. A1001-7. The flip side was "I'm a fool for you."
What was funny was that the writing credit for "Fool for you" listed "Fortune"
as the writer, the other side "Gee but I miss you" shows "Sudetta" as the writer
which always made me believe that "Fool" was considered then as the "A" side.
The record was released on several labels after that over the next few years. I think
I have two others on different labels that he sent me.
Johnny was one of those people you loose track of in life that you wish you hadn't.
I had hoped to link up with him just to say hello. He was talented and fun. He should
have done better in the music business. I'll never know why he didn't.
Reminiscing: in NY
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