Ed Johnson’s passion for music was inspirational

With admiration and timeless memories, members of acclaimed 1970s band The Johnson Family take time this month to honour the life of the group’s leader and patriarch, Ed Johnson.

This December marks the 20th anniversary of Ed’s sudden passing, but he undoubtedly left behind a musical legacy that has contributed to the dynamic history of music in Canada and his native homeland of Trinidad and Tobago.

In the late 1950s, Ed launched his musical career performing calypso and popular music of the time throughout Europe and the Caribbean alongside his leading lady, and wife, Angela, earning them the affectionate title of “Trinidad’s singing sweethearts”.

The duet became known for their trademark melodies combining Ed’s charismatic tone with Angela’s sultry vocals, as they showcased their talent around the world with the likes of Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr. and Nina Simone. His magnificent passion for music was inspirational for those whose paths he crossed, and instilled in his growing family the musical devotion that would bring them together as The Johnson Family.

Their soulful single “Peace in the Family” made waves in Canada in 1975, demonstrating one of Ed’s firmest beliefs: the family that sings together stays together.

His aspirations for The Johnson Family’s success quickly became a reality as the band advanced from banquet performances in Toronto to selling out Queen’s Hall in Trinidad. For their role as mentors and their relentless dedication to promoting music as a magnet, bringing together culture and family, The National Action Cultural Committee of Trinidad and Tobago honoured Ed and Angela for their outstanding contribution to the development of music in Trinidad and Tobago.

By family and friends, he is remembered as a proud father, loyal friend, and doting grandparent. Ed’s vision was to raise a family in music, and in his music he will not be forgotten.




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