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DrmJ Bio - Solo Artist


Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in the Borough of Wilkinsburg, nine miles east of downtown Pittsburgh, DrmJ has been playing and composing music for most of his life...

The son of a professional alto sax and clarinet player (first row, right, in the photograph) with the Kommodores "Commanders of Aristocratic Rhythm" during the Big Band era, DrmJ exhibited musical talent at an early age. At two he could be seen sitting at his grandparents' apartment door playing his toy guitar and singing "The Ballad of Davy Crockett."

At six years of age, DrmJ started piano lessons and by age twelve he was studying percussion under Eugene "Babe" Fabrizi. Practicing up to six hours per day, DrmJ's goal was to play snare

The Kommodores

drum for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Shortly after beginning formal percussion training, in 1976 DrmJ passed the examination of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers and received his certificate signed by Wm. F. Ludwig, Jr., Acting President N.A.R.D.

True of most young artists, DrmJ was a member of various garage bands, the best of which was a rock and country band called the "Mockingbirds." Says DrmJ of his involvement in the Mocking-

Ludwig Drums

birds, "A four-piece band consisting of only two serious members is bound to fail." In his mid-20s, DrmJ's musical path changed from percussionist to singer/songwriter. He taught himself to play guitar and discovered he had a penchant for writing lyrics. To date, DrmJ has released eleven albums with more in the works. He is the sole vocalist and performer of all instrumentation on his albums. DrmJ plays Rickenbacker and Fender guitars, almost exclusively; his choice of percussion instruments is Ludwig.

DrmJ's music, with its haunting vocals, often reflects his life experiences. Influenced by the mid-60s "British Invasion" and American Country Music, DrmJ has amassed a music catalogue of nearly 200 copyright-registered songs. His music has received airplay both within the U.S. as well as internationally. "I Just Can't Hide It," the first track on the Lonely Times album, received recognition (an Honorable

Mention awarded to the top 10%) at the 1988 Music City Song Festival. "Hold Me Closer," on the Cloudy Day album, charted at #1 in the Pop and Pop/Rock categories in 2002 at The Bittersweet album received a four-star review from the International Country Music Association (Rhett Ashley).

DrmJ is sole proprietor and CEO of the music publishing company, Acoustic Notes & Communications. He is also accomplished in the field of recording and re-mixing musical compositions, as well as being adept at editing and rewriting music, lyrics and literature.

Typical of most musicians, DrmJ has worked a variety of jobs to supplement his music income. Among those entrepreneurial activities, DrmJ has achieved success as a music journalist and as a creative writer, as well as a photographer. As a published author and freelance writer, DrmJ's bibliography includes feature magazine articles concerning music as well as ichthyology, a book within the field of herpetology, and other literature (both fiction and non-fiction) on a variety of topics.

Currently, DrmJ lives a quiet life in a small Pennsylvania town, focusing on his songwriting and literary writing.


  DrmJ Photo Gallery

  Interviews with DrmJ:

  "DRM Johnston . . . Interview" by Marie Wilkinson Copyright © 1999




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