Joseph "Smokey" Johnson Jr.

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  • " Gwen and Gizelle, I will continue to pray for you and your..."
    - Jearl Dean Smith
  • "Gwen, and the Johnson family: May the Lord forever keep you..."
    - Cerena Ellis
  • - Willy McKenzie
  • "Wishing the family all the strength in this sad period...."
    - Willy McKenzie
  • "Aunt Gwenniei, Gizelle I know your hearts are heavy, but..."
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Joseph "Smokey" Johnson Jr., 78, long time drummer for Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew passed away on October 6, 2015 at Oschner Hospital. He was born on November 14, 1936 to the late Joseph Johnson, Sr and Rinda (Pattie) Williams Johnson. He was the beloved husband of Gwendolyn P. Johnson and former spouse to Sadie T. Johnson. Loving father of Sandra J. Jones, Deborah (Barry) Fisher, Baton Rouge, Joy Wooten, Bridget (Tommie) Wiley; Juan (Resa) White and Gizelle (Ryan) Johnson-Banks and the late Stacy Joseph Johnson. Stepfather of Darren and Stephen (Cathy) Perkins and Yolanda White. Brother of the late Lofton Johnson, Sr., and Gwendolyn J. Buckner Johnson. Also survived by 7 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, 1 aunt Shirley Williams, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends including Lifelong friends Ruth White, Russell Henry Means and Eugenia Adams. Smokey was a lifelong resident of New Orleans, La and a proud resident of the Musicians Village since Hurricane Katrina. He was one of New Orleans's premier drummers and traveled extensively around the world, playing at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall in the U.S. and Albert Hall in London. He started playing professionally at the age of 17. He traveled with "Kidd" Jordan and other N.O. musicians to work with Barry Gordy at Motown Records. His unique style of drumming can be heard on such songs as Lady Marmalade and a New Orleans Mardi Gras favorite "Big Chief". He co-wrote his signature tune and another New Orleans Mardi Gras favorite, "It Ain't My Fault" with the late Wardell Quezergue. Smokey was a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 174-496, for over 50 years. He was a member of Greater Asia Baptist Church, located at 3708 St. Bernard Ave, NOLA 70122. Relatives, musicians and friends are invited to attend the viewing and musical tribute on Friday October 16, 2015 from 6pm-9pm at Charbonnet-Labat Funeral Home, 1615 St. Philip Street, NOLA 70116 (Historic Faubourg Treme). Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at The Asia B.C. 1400 Sere Street at 9:00am. Visitation will begin at 8am, Rev. Bennie Scott, officiating. Interment Mt. Olivet Cemetery and Mausoleum, 4000 Norman Mayer Avenue, NOLA. Traditional Jazz Funeral. Please view and sign guestbook at www.charbonnetfuneralhome.com.
Funeral Home
Charbonnet Family Services- Treme
1615 St. Philip Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 581-4411
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Published in TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com from Oct. 13 to Oct. 17, 2015