I’ve been making music for almost 50 years now and I don’t plan on slowing down!
I’ve explored many different genres over the years, from Country, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Cool Jazz, Instrumentals and Film Scores! I promise you if you look around long enough, you will find something you like! Be sure to visit my Nerd Vault© to see how the music is made.
That is me on the very piano that I wrote my first song! Not sure how old I was, either still a teenager or in my early 20’s!
Albums are in order of release dates.
My 1st release of songs were written many years ago. Almost all the songs were recorded on old technology and a few others were my first at digital recording. To take a deep dive into my recording process, you can visit the Nerd Vault© to hear and see how my songs are done. There are so many different genres on this album, it’s a real mixed bag of some great music. I hope you like it!
Yes that is the correct dates for “3 Hours Away” and “When Words Aren’t Enough,” I released both albums in the same year. I go into great detail on why I did this in my book, “Music Inside-The Musical Journey of Don Johns,” not yet available. I decided to put out both albums at the same time to see what would happen. I’ve never liked my voice, I considered myself a songwriter, not an artist, so I figured if the vocal album didn’t sell, then at least some folks might like my instrumental stuff. Wow, was I wrong! Since 2010, these two albums have been neck and neck on sales! If you enjoy mellow instrumental music, you’ll love this collection. Just like “3 Hours Away,” some of the recordings were recorded with older technology and some were made digitally. My first instrumental is on here, “Morning,” I hope you find something on here you can enjoy!
I’ve been dreaming about making feature films my entire life. Starting out with some friends in my neighborhood, we made a little film on Super 8, “The 16 Dollar Man + tax.” Two things that stand out from this experience. 1)Editing the film and 2)The reaction from those who saw it. When we were editing the film, it was a simple hand crank device using a flashlight bulb. You would look into this little plastic screen and look for your place to cut the film. You would put the film on this little cutter and cut your film, then you would look for the place to attach the next edit. That was how it used to be done. That process of making your ideas into a working film stuck with me. That was in the early 1970’s. It wasn’t until purchasing a digital camera in 2007 that I was about to put images on the screen that I had been dreaming about for all those years. The second thing that stands out are all the reactions we got when we showed our little film at school. We first showed it in our respective home rooms, and that quickly turned into us showing it to practically the entire school! Not that I wanted to be famous, but seeing and hearing people talking about something we had made. This collection of film scores represents my dream of making movies. If you enjoy these clips I encourage you to watch the films online on my other website Just A Spark Films www.justasparkfilms.com A few of the films are still on Amazon, but they keep taking them down without explanation. Either way I hope you can watch these films and appreciate the love that went into them, especially the music that now for the first time is available with the actual footage. It’s a privilege and honor to have you listen to my music and watch my films. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Don Johns
As I began to compose my own music and get away from using production tracks, I started to accumulate a lot of songs! Since production tracks or “rugs” as they are officially called, are supposed to be very low in the mix, so you are not competing with the audio in the film, I wanted my fans to here all the wonderful music I had created for the different projects over the years. Hence the name, “Hidden Treasure.” There are some real gems in here. I hope you enjoy it!
When I first starting thinking about making a horror film, I was nervous about making the music for it. If you listen to my music it is very far from being scary! Could I create scary music for a horror film? Well, there is no doubt in my mind I succeeded. You take a listen and see what you think. I’ll say this, I was having lunch with this guy one day who had just recently seen the film and he said, and I quote, “That music on the opening scene really freaked me out!” So proud of the work on this soundtrack! Now for those of you who don’t like scary music, there is actually a love theme or two on here, “The First Time I Saw You,” and “Hero.” I hope you like it!
Are you a romantic? Then this album is just for you! What is crazy is how romantic of a guy I was when I was so young. Many of these songs were written before moving to Nashville in the early 1980’s! I was into Lionel Richie and you can hear it in the songs. “Better Than,” the title track was written around the time of the release celebrating my new marriage and love of my life! I hope you will enjoy this album. I had a great fan tell me that this album was her favorite of mine!
It’s crazy how things happen in life. I had just moved to Wilmington, North Carolina and was trying to get involved with some kind of non-profit. I saw that the Wilmington Police Department had an active Boys and Girls club, when I contacted them about that they asked who was making my videos for my website, when I told them “yours truly” that led to me producing a five part series for the police department! The music on this album was so much to make. I wanted each officer to have their own theme and as you can imagine every officer had their own “vibe” so I tried to capture that in song. What you have is a wide variety of music styles. Just recently I found out the song, “Oath of Office,” was selected in a film in Norway! Talk about my music reaching the world! I could have never imagined that happening! I hope you enjoy it!
Love Our Life has proven to be my most popular album and it almost did not get finished! I had to have emergency back surgery and I was afraid that if something went wrong I might not ever get this album out, so I pushed through (with lots of meds) and got it done! If you like “old school” country music, then you will really like this collection of soul searching. I’ve been told it features some of my best vocal performances to date. Almost the entire album has become my most downloaded songs. Thanks everyone who has made this album their favorite!
Before you get all excited and think this album was just made, it was not! After seeing my music getting more popular each passing year, I decided why not put out the “Don Johns Christmas!” This album was made in the late 1980’s on a 4-track cassette! I used an Alesis 8-track sequencer for the music tracks, mixed those to stereo and did the vocals on the other 2 tracks! If you really want to hear something special, I redid some of these songs just for you in the Nerd Vault©. Check it out when you get the chance! “Christmas Is Over” has become a huge hit on TikTok! They videos are absolutely crazy funny! Check them out if you get the chance!
Unclassified is my favorite album and for some reason it is not a favorite for my fans out there. That is very disappointing for me, since I think musically this represents some of my best work. If you like 80’s Rock, you have to check out this album. There is something for everyone on here. During the recording of it, I found out my dear friend Chuck Fisher died. I dedicated the album to him and wrote a song for him, “Thank You.” I miss you everyday my old friend.
Let The Children Laugh in a lot of way is like my album, Hidden Treasures. Many of the tracks on here were written for some films I did. In many of the films the whole song was not even heard, such a sample here and there, but an entire song was actually written, that no one until now got to hear! Let The Children Laugh has become my closing anthem in my live concerts now. The song came from working with a nonprofit that brought kids from Afghanistan for medical treatment. I am still in contact with some of them today. What an amazing experience. This is collection of warm uplifting songs! I hope you like it!
If you haven’t figure it out by now, I love instrumental music! Tropical Paradise is a deep dive into classical Jazz as well as Cool Jazz. What is crazy is that the horn parts are played by me, but on the keyboard! Samples have come so far from where they used to be. I wish I had the budget to hire real horn players, but I did not. I think overall it’s still a very good album if you like Jazz. It’s not all Jazz, so please take a listen. I’m sure you will find something you like!
If you are thinking these songs must be the newest since it was just released in 2020, well, you would be wrong. I purposely save this collection of songs for my last release, you see these songs are actually the first songs I ever wrote! The title track, Do You Know My Friend was my first song at 14, written on the piano you see me sitting at on the album cover! As I was recording this album, I was struck by how good these songs are for someone who had no ability or knowledge of writing songs, just an ear and a big heart! The song Psalms 91 was originally a vocal song, but I decided to make it a full instrumental. I still can’t get over I wrote this when I was so young! There are some really great songs on here and some crazy videos, so if you have the time, check it out!
The Right Time was actually supposed to be on Do You Know My Friend, and for some reason it got left off! I’ve been with CD Baby since 2010 and they made it right by giving me The Right Time as a single free of charge. I did want you to know the background because this song was also written during the same time as Do You Know My Friend. I was a young man living in Orange Park, Florida when I wrote this song. Some of the lyrics were changed to strengthen the message I was trying to say. I hope you like it.
Grab your best headphones and dive into this music I’ve never done an album like this and to really appreciate it, you should listen with headphones to get totally immersed in the sound design. Like the title, I’m trusting the journey of music and where it takes me. In some of the tracks you almost see the visuals that the music creates.