Donnie Brooks
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Donnie Brooks (born John Dee Abohosh; February 6, 1936 – February 23, 2007) was an American pop music singer. Brooks is a member of the
Rockabilly Hall of Fame The Rockabilly Hall of Fame is an organization and website launched on March 21, 1997 to present early rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music Popular music i ...
.


Early life

Born in
Dallas Dallas (), colloquially referred to as Big D, is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the largest city in and County seat, seat of Dallas County, Texas, Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin County, Texas, Collin, Denton County, ...

Dallas
, Texas, Abohosh moved to
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, California in his teens, where he was
adopted Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting Parenting or child rearing promotes and supports the physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical' ...

adopted
by his
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and took the name John D. Faircloth. He discovered a singing voice at a young age and recorded a few minor hits with several small record labels under the stage names Johnny Jordan, Dick Bush (which sole single "Hollywood Party" was his first for Era), and Johnny Faire, the latter gaining some sales with " Bertha Lou" in early 1959, while a cover version by Clint Miller charted
nationally A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ethnic group; it has been described as "a fully ...

nationally
.


Success

In 1958, on Vine Street north of Hollywood Boulevard, across the street from the Capitol Records building and above the Ontra Cafeteria, were the offices of Hal Zeiger – World Wide Attractions, which produced The Borscht Capades starring Mickey Katz (father of Joel Grey) and several Southern California rock and roll concert venues, including Saturday Night at The El Monte Legion Stadium. Also in the complex was the Johnny Otis (Willie & The Hand Jive) recording studio, the offices of Eldo Records and the office of promoter Red "The Old Red Cat" Gilson. A late morning, midweek meeting was held by Gilson and a woman, Linda Stewart, who identified herself as representing a remarkable singer and showman named Donnie Brooks. Gilson was persuaded to "give the kid a shot" at the next El Monte Legion Stadium show. That Saturday, Brooks was introduced and sang two numbers, including Ray Charles' hit "What'd I Say". His performance was ultrahigh energy rarely seen by the Legion audience that stood filling the arena from the back wall to the edge of the five-foot-high stage. It was exciting, but because he didn't have a record being played on the radio, that may have been his only Legion appearance that year. Encouraged by friends Dorsey and
Johnny Burnette John Joseph Burnette (March 25, 1934 – August 14, 1964) was an American singer and songwriter of rockabilly Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock ...

Johnny Burnette
, he persevered in the
music business The music industry consists of the individuals and organizations that earn money by Musical composition, writing songs and musical compositions, creating and selling Sound recording and reproduction, recorded music and sheet music, presenting ...
; and in late 1959, he made his first recording using the name Donnie Brooks. Called "Li'l Sweetheart", it received a lukewarm reception, but his March 1960 hit single, " Mission Bell" on
Era Records Era Records was an independent American record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other ...
demonstrated a quality voice in an upbeat song that peaked at No. 7 on the ''Billboard'' Hot 100 chart. His follow-up, "Doll House"/"Round Robin" (a double-sided hit single with a color picture sleeve on Era Records) peaked at No. 31 in December 1960. According to a 2006 concert at
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,
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, posted on
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YouTube
, Brooks revealed that he was the voice of the opening theme to the cartoon series ''
George of the Jungle ''George of the Jungle'' is an American animated television series An animated series is a set of Animation, animated works with a common series title, usually related to one another. These episodes should typically share the same main charact ...
''. He also sang the theme to the cartoon series ''
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'' and ''
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''.


Decline

Although he continued to record through the 1970s, he never again achieved the same level of success. In 1971, Brooks played the role of Christ in the
rock opera A rock opera is a collection of rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be en ...
'' Truth of Truths'' for
Oak Records Oak Records is an independent record label that has released recordings by Ernie Freeman, Doug Gibbs, Five Flights Up, James Talley, Stephanie Winslow and Dwight Yoakam. It has been releasing recordings since the 1970s. Info The label was founded ...
. The record was produced by Ray Ruff, who previously worked for
ABC-Paramount ABC Records was an American record label founded in New York City in 1955. It originated as the main popular music label operated by the Am-Par Record Corporation. Am-Par also created the Impulse! Records, Impulse! jazz label in 1960. It acquire ...
, Happy Tiger and Dot. Brooks toured with other performers from the early
rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and st ...

rock and roll
era in
oldies Oldies is a term for musical genres such as pop music Pop is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form during the mid-1950s in the United States and the United Kingdom. The terms ''popular music'' and ''pop music'' are ofte ...
revival shows. Brooks had five children, Tony, Steve, Cathy, Saji, and Shad. All are still living.


Death

Brooks died of a heart attack following a long illness on February 23, 2007. He was 71. There was a special
memorial service A funeral is a ceremony connected with the Disposal of human corpses, final disposition of a corpse, such as a burial or cremation, with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture t ...

memorial service
and
rockabilly Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to ...
show in his honor on Sunday, March 26, 2007, at the
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in
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.


References


External links


Rockabilly Hall of Fame
{{DEFAULTSORT:Brooks, Donnie 1936 births 2007 deaths American male pop singers People from Dallas American rockabilly musicians Challenge Records artists Era Records artists 20th-century American singers Country musicians from Texas 20th-century American male singers