A+ A A-

265. Johnny “Guitar” Watson

Rate this item
(0 votes)

The original “gangster of love” may have had the most versatile axe careers of all the guitarists on this list. Johnny “Guitar” Watson was a Blues star in the 50’s and easily one of the masters of the Stratocaster. Watson switched off to become a Funk specialist in the 70’s, which showed off his range and ability. The amount of guitarists (Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Miller and Sly Stone for example) who claimed to have learned or borrowed from Watson is a long one indeed. What hurts Watson for induction is as acclaimed as he was in music circles, he too often drifted out of the spotlight and he just isn’t known as much as he probably should be.





The Bullet Points:


Eligible Since:



Country of Origin:

U.S.A. (Houston, TX)


Nominated In:



NIHOF’s Favorite Album:

Gangster of Love (1957)


NIHOF’s Favorite Song:

Ain’t That a Bitch (From Ain’t That a Bitch, 1976)

Should Johnny "Guitar" Watson be in the Hall of Fame?

(You must be registered and logged in to vote!)
Definitely put him in! - 50%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 16.7%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 16.7%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 16.7%
Last modified on Sunday, 02 February 2014 17:09


0 #1 michaeljamesca -0001-11-29 19:00
One of Zappa's favorite guitarists, Johnny "guitar&qu ot; Watson should be in the hall already!
0 #2 P Smith 2013-01-29 14:02
Watson didn't just slide effortlessly from blues to rock to funk, he also had one of the first rap hits, "Telephone Bill". He was an innovator and a huge influence on many groups over many decades in many different styles, from the Vaughn Brothers to Zappa to Etta James to Sly Stone.
-1 #3 Darryl Tahirali 2013-10-14 19:51
Steve Miller covered Watson's "Gangster of Love" back in the late 1960s while that phrase "gangster of love" later cropped up in Miller's "The Joker."

Watson is a bargain-basemen t Bobby Womack and doesn't have a Hall of Fame case in my view; nor does Womack, for that matter, but his is still stronger than Watson's.

Which doesn't mean that I don't love Watson's singing on various Zappa albums from the late '70s and early '80s, particularly "San Ber'dino" and "Andy" from One Size Fits All. "Bobby, I'm sorry you got a head like a potato, I really am."

Add comment

Security code


Click an icon to login instantly with your social account. (If you are logged into Facebook, clicking the Facebook icon will log you in to Not in Hall of Fame instantly.)


  • 346. The Chantels
    The Chantels were very significant historically as they were among the first girl groups to chart with hit songs. They were not as successful (or as good, frankly) as many of the other girl groups that they set the stage for, but they did help to open that door, and they were good enough to get a look from the…
    Add new comment

red gold blue

© 2009-2012 Kirk Buchner & David Johnson