I first saw Johnny Maddox in person at the Red Slipper Inn in Denver
Colorado in the 1960s. He performed at a piano bar with a raised
stage arrangement. The motif was "Gay Nineties" and the waitresses
wore skimpy costumes of the era with wonderful plumes in their hair.
It definitely got my attention.
Johnny "Crazy Otto" is an expert on old ragtime and can sight read as
well as a speed reader can read a page in a book. Johnny would stop
from time to time and announce what tunes he was about to play, who
wrote them and when. He is very entertaining and quite a showman.
He puts a lot of energy in his playing and wears band aids on his
fingers in the first few sets. Later he takes them off and really
lets 'er rip.
During that time period I was playing the banjo at Shakey's [Pizza
Parlor] and Johnny would stop by and listen to the piano and banjo.
He would "sit in" on piano and I would play along on banjo. Believe
me, it was a treat.
Johnny lives in Gallatin, Tennessee, and plays at the Strater Hotel
from time to time in Durango, Colorado. I think he also plays in
Florida but I am not 100% sure.
Johnny owes tons of original ragtime sheet music and has had several
prize pianos. He may have the largest collection of original ragtime
sheet music in the world.
Jim McLellan - McLellan School of Golf