Did You Hug Your Mother Today?
Mike Johnson is Country Music's No. 1 Black Yodeler. In April 2007, his Yodel Song Archives, containing 114 yodeling songs written and composed by him, and related material, were inducted into the Recorded Sound Reference Center's permanent music collection in the Library of Congress. This CD is one of the [related material] items in that collection. 'PLEASE DON'T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN' is BACK after 27 elusive years! Lyrics at bottom of this page. DID YOU HUG YOUR MOTHER TODAY? was Mike Johnson's first Radio Hit. It aired for three weeks straight surrounding Mother's Day in 1994 on the Michigan Jamboree Radio Show in Sparta and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Shortly after it's on-air debut the famous King of the Independent DJs, the late Big John Baldry, called us to say; 'I can't have a show! Every time I play it I get calls and they wanna hear it again!' He also sent us a Friday, 22 April 1994 Postcard, stating, 'Hi Mike, Want you to know 'Have You Hugged Your Mother' is a SUPER GOOD song, and I have played it and it has been requested many times already. Also [Take] 'Time Out' is being requested. Thanks for sending me your tape, and I am proud of you and your music... Take care, keep it Country, and may the good Lord watch over you. Sure hope you can make the ALL Independent Country Music week-end in June. I'll be back atcha later. Take care. Sincerely, 'Big John' Baldry.' In June 1994, Mike drove his Newlon Transfer big-rig up to the 1st. Annual Michigan Jamboree being held at the Sugarbush Campgrounds in Hillsdale Michigan. On his final performance on the last day he and Maine's 16 year-old yodeling sensation, Mike Preston, received a standing ovation for Mike's yodeling rendition of Hank Williams 'Jambalaya.' It was here that Mike also met and became good friends with singer-songwriter Terry Smith, author of the song 'THE FAR SIDE BANKS OF JORDAN.' We thought that the attention 'Did You Hug Your Mother Today?' received was quite impressive for a 6-1/2 minute ballad. It quickly received the nickname of 'the Mother's Day song' and has become a consistent year-round player on Independent Country Music Radio here and abroad. Particularly on Ed & Jolene Bullard's 'Coal County Country Jamboree Show' [KHKC 103.FM & KEOR 1110am] in Tupelo, Oklahoma and Trudy Burke's 'Make Mine Country' station in Victoria, Australia. Mike wrote the song on 29 April 1982 after seeing a bumper sticker that read 'Have You Hugged Your Mother Today?' while he was inching his way through I-70 rush hour traffic in St. Louis, Missouri. His mother immediately adopted it as her own, and often played it back to back with her other favorite, LITTLE BOYS AND DOGGIES. Margaret J. Johnson passed away on 27 September 2004, following a two-year bout with brain tumors. She had just celebrated her 75th birthday on 4 June 2004. CLICK the 'Did You Hug Your Mother Today?' link on the left to see Mike's 2007 video tribute to his Mother, his 'other' Mothers, and Mothers everywhere. DID YOU HUG YOU MOTHER TODAY? is Mike Johnson's second CD. It's an extended version of the original same-titled 1987 Pata del Lobo Music 6-song Cassette Album. 1. Did You Hug Your Mother Today? 2. Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin 3. Me And My Friend Jim 4. Pigtails And Bubblegum 5. Little Boys And Doggies 6. Take Time Out, Don't Take It Out On Your Kid. Not having enough studio cuts at the time for a 10-song album of unreleased songs, Mike decided to fill in the four new cuts with the 'Little Boys And Doggies' and 'Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin' soundtracks from his 1986 Cassette Album 'I BELIEVE IN ROY ROGERS.' For the CD he dropped 'Charmin' and added 'SAMMY, I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M FALLIN', LET'S TAKE IT EASY, SNAKES DON'T SLEEP ON A HOT ROCK, and I HEAR HER WORDS RINGIN'. Mike created Pata del Lobo Music Publishing in 1982 to take over his music from MAJJ Productions, which he had created in 1976 for his literary and art endeavors. Long before he became involved in music. MAJJ Productions released his first 45rpm, KI NG OF THE FISH-PLEASE DON'T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN in 1981 and in 1983, the cassette album, MIKE JOHNSON'S GUITAR SONGS VOL. 1. Convinced that he should pursue his music a little further, his second 45rpm was released in 1985 under the newly formed Pata del Lobo Music banner. 'Lobo' would continue to release his works until Roughshod Records was formed in late 1986 and officially in 1987. DID YOU HUG YOUR MOTHER TODAY? re-surfaced in April 1994 on a Cassette Single, one of which 'Big John' Baldry was one of the very first recipients. The 1999 CD followed and in January 2004 the song appeared on a 17th Anniversary Edition CD, [RCD15-S0104-1] backed with another Mike Johnson ballad, IF THIS OLD TREE COULD TALK. It also appeared solo that year on a 'Happy Mother's Day' CD Special. [RCD16-S0104-2] The 17th Anniversary Edition cover features a photo of a very young Mike Johnson with his mother and two sisters on his grandmother's front lawn during the 1950s. SONG BACKGROUNDS: Mike Johnson has been performing and yodeling since the mid-1960s. However, it wasn't until the mid-1970s that he finally decided he wanted to get involved in music on a somewhat regular basis as a songwriter. He soon discovered, as did a lot of others before him, that sometimes you have to travel other roads to get there. Lack of Nashville publisher and label interest caused him to go back to performing, and then producing his songs, using his yodeling as the gimmick to attract attention. Finally, during the 1980s he began to be recognized by his peers on the Independent circuit as a good songwriter. He has since written over 1200 songs. His writing has always been spontaneous rather than structured like the book reports he was required to do in elementary school. His main influences spring from things happening around him, old memories suddenly resurfacing, while rehearsing old songs, and old photographs, cards and letters, which incidentally was the subject of a 11 January 2004 Mike Johnson song; 'Stacks Of Cards And Letters.' The selections on this CD show the emerging talent that helped secure his foothold. TAKE TIME OUT was written on 8 February 1987, in the wee hours of the morning at the All-Star Motel in El Paso, Texas. Still wired from a beer bash over in Juarez, Mexico, Mike couldn't sleep. So he decided to get in some guitar practice while watching a late movie. It seemed like every 10 minutes the movie was interrupted by the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse Advertisement 'Take Time Out, don't take it out on your kid.' Somewhat annoyed by this constant movie interruption, he focused on the slogan and wrote the song in about an hour. Based on a personal experience, Mike's heart-tugging SAMMY [7 August 1980] is a very sentimental favorite that watered the eyes of many of Mike's fans back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Constantly urged to record it on each Nashville trip he finally he did. Though it was actually written about Mike's foster-son Todd, the song was inspired by a boy name Sammy pictured in an adoption brochure. It was later released as a CD single with the brochure photo of Sammy on the CD cover. Be sure and have your handkerchief handy when you listen to this one. ME AND MY FRIEND JIM. [18 December 1986] This yodeling song [the only one on this CD] is about one of Mike's most reliable trucking helpers who worked with him in the summer of 1987. Jim was a hard working young man who also liked music, camping and traveling, so he and Mike hit it off very well, traveling from Texas to Tennessee, getting rowdy and even co-writing a song together about Jim's girlfriend. PIGTAILS AND BUBBLEGUM [5 August 1981] sprang from a poem written by Leo P. Maimone, for his girlfriend's daughters. Leo is a Boy Scout-close friend from 1960, and a hopeless romantic. Mike rewrote a number the verses into a tight set of lyrics and composed the music to this mesmerizing piece. LITTLE BOYS AND DOGGIES, [5 April 1981] Mike will tell you, is the prettiest piece of music he's ever composed. It is his all-time favorite, bar none. He wrote this while rehearsing a new song, watching an old Lassie movie on TV, and talking on the telephone with Loron [mentioned in the song] about an upcoming shooting trip. I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M FALLIN' [13 November 1983] is a song for everyone who has ever let that special one slip away. Including Mike. LET'S TAKE IT EASY [2 February 1983] is a let's not rush things song that was also pitched to Nashville artist John Conlee, while SNAKES DON'T SLEEP ON A HOT ROCK [2 March 1983] is Mike's Roger Miller influence and rather flippant, self-assured stereotyped male point-of-view on relationships. I HEAR HER WORDS RINGIN' [8 June 1983] is a song about a fall-down, stumblin' drunk, and Mike readily admits that he was nearly three-sheets in the wind when he recorded this one. Actually, the song IF THIS OLD TREE COULD TALK [23 February 1983] was supposed to be in this slot, but somehow we got distracted [not very difficult 'round here with a dozen things at once going on] and 'Ringin' got thrown in instead. At any rate, Mike's trucking runs had been very busy that year and most of the time he could only wave at Nashville as he sped by on I-40 and I-65 with hot loads to Texas and beyond. When things finally slowed down a tad, he called Jim Stanton over at Champ Recording Studio to let him know that he was coming to town. Mike and his trucking buddy, Scott Ronkenin, drank the sun up the next morning. Normally Mike books a two-hour session and comes away with 5 to 6 songs. This time he booked a four-hour session to make up for the lost time. However this time he came away with only four songs. Mike recounts that recording session; 'We partied hardy the night before, bar to bar up and down Broadway. The next morning I woke up with my feet sitting in my Chef Salad and couldn't find my truck keys! Hey! You can't separate a Sailor from his beer, and I love my beer! Well, I made it to the studio on time and sent Scott to pick up a case of Budweiser for me to loosen up my vocal chords. I started in on that song and all of a sudden the Budweiser kicked in and I started losing my rhythm and forgetting my lyrics. My session musicians were a little better off than me and very, very patient. We took a few coffee breaks and then went at it again and finally [over an hour later] I got through the whole dang song. By that time I was exhausted and really didn't want to do any more, but I still had other songs. I managed to get through three more songs; AS LONG AS THERE IS MUSIC There'll Be Hank Williams Too, HOOKED ON RODEO, and I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M FALLIN'. I still amazed that I actually managed to some decent yodels in 'Music' and 'Rodeo.' It was standard procedure for Jim to whip up a quick cassette master for me to listen to while on the road and then call him with instructions for the final mix-down. Most of the time he knew exactly what I wanted, but my beer bash kinda threw a monkey through the wrench. The focus was on this particular song and I told him I'd call him down the road. Well, the more I listened to it the more I was became convinced. My return trip sent me through Nashville and I went to listen to the final mix. Jim asked me what kind of changes I wanted and I told him 'nada' it was perfect just like it was. He grinned and wagged a finger at me, and said he didn't change a thing. He said the more he listened to it the more he like it too, cause it had a real down and out, stumblin' old drunk flavor to it! 'No, I've never played any instrument on any of my Nashville sessions. I am not a musician! I play each song once at the beginning of the session so that my session players can get their 'numbers' down and from then on they play and I just sing!' On 1 September 2002 Mike Johnson was inducted into America's Old-Time Country Music Hall Of Fame by the National Traditional Country Music Association. 'Yeah I'm A Cowboy' from Mike's 'Black Yodel No.1' album is on the 25 September 2006 'Rough Guide To Yodel' CD with the yodeling songs of 17 other world famous Yodelers. 'MIKE JOHNSON * YODELING 40 YEARS' featuring 50 yodeling songs written & composed by Mike Johnson released 31 January 2007. In March 2007, this CD, his 'Black Yodel No.1' CD, his Yodel Song Arcives, [containing 114 yodeling songs written & composed by him] and a 46-page biography became part of the Recorded Sound Reference Center's permanent music collection in the Library of Congress. DID YOU HUG YOUR MOTHER TODAY? is an emotional package we are sure will tug at your heart-strings, warm your insides, and become a treasured favorite for years to come. Joe Arnold, Roughshod Records, P.O. Box 100933, Arlington, Va. 22210 PLEASE DON'T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN Mike Johnson 15 January 1979 VERSE 1: YOU CAN BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH CREST PUT BRYLCREEM IN YOUR HAIR PLEASE DON'T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN IN MY STORE. FEED YOUR KITTY TENDER VITTLES LIVA-SNAPS FOR YOUR DOG A MANWICH AIN'T A SANDWICH IT'S A MEAL. VERSE 2: YOU CAN EAT A BOWL OF CORN FLAKES FOR AN EARLY MORNING "ROAR!" LISTEN TO PARKAY TALK ON YOUR TOAST. "BUTTER!" YOU CAN TICKLE THE PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY "HE, HE" WITH WESSONALITY SURELY YOU KNOW THINGS GO BETTER WITH COKE. VERSE 3: NOW MAXWELL HOUSE COFFEE IS GOOD TO THE LAST DROP. STARKIST DON'T WANT TUNA WITH GOOD TASTE, "SORRY CHARLIE!" MILK IS THE NATURAL ONE, WITH AN OSCAR MAYER WEINER AND YOU LOOK OUT FOR THAT SCHLITZ MALT LIQUOR BULL! YOU CAN BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH CREST PUT BRYLCREEM IN YOUR HAIR PLEASE DON'T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN PLEASE DON'T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN PLEASE DON'T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN IN MY STORE! MR. WHIPPLE! YEESSSS! ©1982 Pata del Lobo Music * All Rights Reserved MIKE JOHNSON DISCOGRAPHY: For detailed information click the 'Mike's Website' link. 45 RPMs: Out of Print 1981: King Of The Fish & Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin 1985: Hooked On Rodeo & I Hear Her Words Ringing CASSETTE ALBUMS: 1983: Mike Johnson's Guitar Songs Vol.1 1986: I Believe In Roy Rogers 1987: Did You Hug Your Mother Today? 1993: Black Yodel No.1 The Song The Songwriter CASSETTE SINGLES: 1994: Did You Hug Your Mother Today? & Little Boys and Doggies 1995: Just A Nobody & Always For You 1995: Take Time Out & Snakes Don't Sleep On A Hot Rock 1995: As Long As There Is Music & Black Yodel No.1 CD ALBUMS: 1999: Black Yodel No.1, The Song The Songwriter 1999: Did You Hug Your Mother Today? 2000: Country Classics Radio DJ Special [Special Project] 2001: Yodeling McDonald Craig [Special Project] 2001: Mike Johnson's Guitar Songs Vol.1, '1983 Collector's Classic' 2002: Mike Johnson's Guitar Songs Vol. 2 'Some Old Demo Sessions' 2002: Mike Johnson Live! Includes Hall of Fame induction and performances in different places 2002: Three Country Music Yodelers, Who Just Happen To Be Black! [Special Project] 2004: Roughshod Records CD Sampler #1 2007: Mike Johnson * Yodeling 40 Years [2-Disc Set-50-tracks] 2007: Frank Hunter, The Lonesome Yodeler [Special Project] 2007: Mike Johnson's Guitar Songs Vol. 3 'The Heartaches Are Calling' 2007: Big John Baldry King of the Indie DJs 'To Monna, The Rose of My Heart' 2007: Mike Johnson's Guitar Songs Vol. 4 'You Never Got To Sing My Songs' A Tribute To Roger Miller. 2008: Mike Johnson's Guitar Songs Vol. 5 'Bad Whiskey, Bad Sex, And Bad Men' 2008: Mike Johnson's Guitar Songs Vol. 6 'Just Plain Yodeling 2008: Mike Johnson's Guitar Songs Vo. 7 'Silly & Sentimental Songs?' 2008: Songs For All Ages 2009: Roughshod Records CD Sampler #2 2010: Mike Johnson & Freddie the Swedish Fiddler 2010: Mike Johnson Live! At the Songsmith in Washington DC 2010: Mike Johnson Live! At Whitey's in Arlington Va. 2010: Mike Johnson Live! At Royal Lee's Deli in Arlington Va. 2010: Mike Johnson Live! At the Tucson Cafe & Southwest Tavern in Washington DC CD SINGLES: 2000: 20th Anniversary Issue; King Of The Fish & Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin 2001: Take Time Out & Little Boys And Doggies 2001: Let's Take It Easy & Did You Hug Your Mother Today? [Piano solo by Thanh Bui] 2002: Hooked On Rodeo & I Can't Believe I'm Fallin' 2003: Your Cheatin' Heart & He Stopped Loving Her Today [Special Project] 2004: 17th Anniversary: Did You Hug Your Mother Today? & If This Old Tree Could Talk 2004: 2004 Mother's Day Special; Did You Hug Your Mother Today? 2004: Sammy & Me And My Friend Jim 2004: Here's To Jim And Tammy & You Scratch My Back 2004: Pictures On The Wall & Pigtails And Bubblegum 2004: King Of The Road & I Walk The Line [Special Project] 2006: Music By Mike: Little Boys And Doggies & Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin [original soundtracks] 2007: The Wall, A Tribute To Vietnam Veterans 2008: Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin & Snakes Don't Sleep On A Hot Rock 2009: Yeah I'm A Cowboy CD-Sheet Music Folio 2012: Livin' Lost Love on the Jukebox Again & The Heartaches Are Callin' 2012: Back Home Again & The Holy River - featuring James Adelsberger 2012: Roughshod Records CD Sampler #3 'Livin' Lost Love on the Jukebox Again' 2012: Roughshod Records CD Sampler #4 'Back Home Again' [James Adelsberger] ***Roughshod Records Special Projects are promotional releases and NOT FOR SALE*** MIKE JOHNSON SONGS ON OTHER RELEASES: BJD Wishing Away Radio Promotion Compilation CDs: 1990s CD #15 'Sammy' Track No.9 CD #18 'Did You Hug Your Mother Today?' Track No.8 CD #21 'Yeah I'm A Cowboy' Track No.19 'Hank Sang Mostly Sad Songs' Track No.2 (C)2003 Dustin Hunt Music * HANK, THE MAN THE MUSIC, THE LEGEND * #TMTM1170 'Yeah I'm a Cowboy' Track No.14 (C)2006 World Music Network * ROUGH GUIDE TO YODEL * #RGNET1174 CD * Copyright 2013 Roughshod Records * All Rights Reserved Copyright 2008 Roughshod Records * All Rights Reserved.