First rhythm 'n blues hit outselling the white covers (n°1 R&B for 10 weeks and top 20 US). Also the first 45 RPM selling more than the 78 counterpart. Posthumous n°1 R&B in January '55, following a dramatical game of Russian roulette on christmas eve backstage the City Auditorium in Houston. Mobster label boss Don Robey quickly turned this tragedy into profit, staging Johnny's funeral at soon to become prestigious Clayborn AME Temple in Memphis with a blues who's who as pallbearers. Promotion assured.
Johnny Copeland [in a Johnny Ace medley]
John Lennon & Yoko Ono [model for Happy Xmas (War Is Over); (see also: Stewball)]
Reggae versions by Jackie Edwards and John Holt. See also: Stewball.