Cowboy Jack presents

The ShowsThe Hank Show | Band In Black | Cowboy Jack  | Paniola Jack | North County Cowboys
Calendar of EventsBio In the News | Images | Past Performances | References | Email | Contact | Home




COWBOY JACK on Ch 8 CBS San Diego,CA






           Cowboy Jack 91X Radio Interview and Song
    (click here)


Click here to see Cowboy Jack August 5, 2010 news story and video

San Diego California Events

Exclusive interview with "Cowboy Jack" Johnson

Howie Hayman

(San Diego California online)


"Cowboy Jack" Johnson

(Band In Black)


Alicia Wszelaki



Band, Show, Movie Info

Exclusive interview with "Cowboy Jack" Johnson

Howie: You are originally from Honolulu, Hawaii. Is country music popular there?

Jack: Fairly much, there's a lot of military there and they are big country music fans.  The Hawaiian steel guitar is where country music got its steel guitar in the music.

Howie: You refer to yourself as a well traveled “army brat.” Which countries and U.S. states do you like the most?


Jack: Of all my travels, I've learned what a lot of people seem to learn after traveling, that you just can't beat North (San Diego) County as the best place to live in the world.

Howie: In which areas of San Diego County would you say country music is the most popular?

Jack: Traditional country; inland, country music as a whole is popular in 'the country'. Johnny Cash seems popular with most everyone throughout the county, including the coast.

Howie: You began your entertaining career during college. Do you consider that to be a late beginning for a career in entertainment?

Jack: Actually I started playing guitar when I was ten, professionally, I believe I started at a good time, about 17, playing coffee houses, it's hard to play the honky tonks 'till you are 21 anyway.

Howie: What inspired you to become an entertainer?


Jack: When I was four years old I picked up a broom and started strumming it when I saw Elvis on TV.

Howie: What do like best about performing?


Jack: Giving people a good time and escape from their daily hectic lives and immerse themselves in the simple genre of the past which I offer in my vintage shows.


Howie: You play several instruments. Which do you enjoy playing the most?


Jack: I enjoy playing my 1950 Silvertone nylon string guitar which my Uncle Johnny picked up for $2 at a Goodwill 35 years ago. I call it the 'banger' which I take to the beach a lot. It has a combination of ukulele and guitar sound.

Howie: You also worked as a magician. Do you incorporate any of this into your shows?

Jack: When I perform my 'Cowboy Jack' act at Rawhide Ranch and other camp-outs I'll perform card tricks for the kids, sometimes also as a party tool and walk around intro in my shows.


Howie: Do you prefer performing in front of large or small groups?


Jack: Either one, large is interesting because of the big production and small is great acoustically.


Howie: Is country music your only musical interest?


Jack: I listen mostly to jazz, play ukulele doing beach sounds and Don Ho tunes.  I also enjoy playing and listening to sixties rock; Bob Dylan, Beatles, etc.

Howie: Which performers influenced you the most?


Jack: Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson.

Howie: You currently perform in several bands. In which of your bands do you enjoy performing the most?

Jack: I can't pick a single favorite, I like performing in all of them.  I'd have to say having a variety of shows is my most favorite 'way' to perform.


Howie: What do you like to do when you are not performing?


Jack: Beach out, yoga, ride bicycles, play volleyball, basketball and frisbee.

Howie: The Johnny Cash movie "Walk the Line" will be released soon. How do you think this will affect the "The Band in Black?"


Jack: I think it will open up a lot wider audience appeal to my show out of curiosity to see the vintage replica band of Johnny's music.

Howie: What appeals to you most about Cash's music?


Jack: Simple, raw and honest.

Howie: Is this your first time to perform at Dizzy's?


Jack: Yes.


Howie: What do you expect from this performance?


Jack: A good draw, considering it is one week after the "Walk The Line" movie opening.


Howie: Do you think the downtown crowd will differ considerably from the North County crowd?

Jack: Chuck Perrin, the owner of Dizzy's (who I have known for years and used to live in North County), and I both think the movie tie-in and the uniqueness of my tribute show will draw on the downtown crowd.  They are less loyal country fans per se, but this sound borders on the 'alternative' appeal of the city crowd.


←Click here for San Diego California Online


North County Times
Monday, October 10, 2005

Click Here!

The Hank Show

“He made me a replica of Hank’s suit… the white suit with black musical notes.”

By Jay Allen Sanford
Published December 9, 2004

Cowboy Jack Johnson (second from left)

'I've been the Singing Cowboy of Rawhide Ranch for eight years now," says Cowboy Jack Johnson. "That's a dude ranch in Bonsall -- it's been there since the '60s, with Old West facades and learn how to take care of and ride horses and stuff. Then, at the big campfire, I sing a bunch of cowboy standards and tell stories about the Old West. I do that most every Saturday night, whenever I'm not booked with one of my band projects."

The longtime San Diegan (since 1968) is also the originator and lead performer of "The Hank Show," which he calls "a re-creation, not a tribute, of the music of Hank Williams, Sr. We've been doing it about six years now, with hits from the width of his career. He recorded from '47 to '53 and we play the songs in chronological order. The band wears vintage smile-pocket Western shirts with hats and ties and we all play instruments accurate to that era." Johnson strums guitar while his bandmates use the same style hollow-body electric guitar, steel guitar, fiddle, and upright bass used by their Sr. inspirations. "My 'Hank suit' was made for me by one of the same guys who tailored Hank's clothes. He's, like, 78 now; he was one of the guys at Nudies Rodeo Tailors [who dressed ZZ Top, among others] and he made me a replica of Hank's suit...the white suit with black musical notes."

Johnson formed another "re-creation" last year called "Band in Black," featuring the music of Johnny Cash. "That band does the same thing -- we dress in black and play vintage gear like an upright bass, the lead guitarist uses a Telecaster, and I have my Martin guitar [Cash owned several Martins]. We cover the late '50s through early '60s, all presented based on research and authentic down to the last detail." The Hank Show appears Saturday, December 11, at Pine Hills Lodge in Julian. Band in Black next performs December 30 at the YMCA Firehouse in La Jolla.


1. Road Runner ("I always root for the underdog and the coyote is the ultimate.")

2. Bugs Bunny ("He's debonair and those cartoons have sophistication and wit.")

3. Donald Duck ("You can't understand him -- it's like trying to watch the news, which is the only other TV I watch.")

4. The Three Stooges ("I guess that's a live action cartoon.")

5. Popeye ("That was a modern family. There was Popeye and Olive Oyl and he worked on the docks to support their illegitimate kid, Swee'pea.")


1. Hot Rod Lincoln ("They do a great job capturing a vintage sound.")

2. Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash ("Of course I appreciate them.")

3. Eve Selis ("She has originality and a great rock and roll presentation.")

4. Nova Menco ("They do a really different flamenco jazz thing.")

5. Tim Flannery ("He's not a super-polished musician, but his music is honest.")


1. Jazz 98.1 CD Sampler 2005 ("I get that every year -- they always have terrific selections and proceeds go to charities.")

2. Diana Krall, Live in Paris ("I love jazz more than anything.")

3. Norah Jones, Come Away with Me ("She does a Hank Williams, Sr. song on there, 'Cold Cold Heart.'")

4. Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company ("I like what he did with Willie Nelson, 'It Was A Very Good Year.'")


1. "Cool Water" ("By Sons of the Pioneers with Roy Rogers. You don't get more classic than that.")

2. "Happy Trails" ("Roy Rogers's theme -- a great sendoff song I use to end my Cowboy Jack shows.")

3. "Ghost Riders in the Sky" ("The cowboys used to look up at the sky at night and imagine the cloud formations as riding horsemen.")

4. "Home on the Range" ("It captures how peaceful the range can be.")

5. "Ring of Fire" ("It's not really an old classic cowboy song, but it fits perfectly to do around a campfire.")

Music Feature
from: 2004 San Diego Reader.

2004 San Diego Reader.