Sharing his birth date with 50′s icons Marilyn Monroe and Nelson Riddle, Johnny Coppola was born on June 1st in Boston, Massachusetts. Little did he know that the musical journey he would later embark upon would evoke not only the style of each, but of the culture from which they emerged.
He spent his early years growing up on Prince Street in Boston’s North End, the tight-knit Italian neighborhood famous for its cuisine, the Brink’s Job and the expression, “I didn’t see nothin.’” His family would later move to Medford, MA. As a youth, Johnny idolized his cousin, Richard “Jake The Bloke” Palumbo. Jake was cool. Johnny wanted cool. Jake had great records. Johnny listened. He listened to Frank Sinatra, The Four Freshman, Jackie and Roy, Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66, Willie Bobo, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls and many more. Johnny’s father, “Chuck”, loved listening to Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jackie Gleason and George Shearing with his son. By the time Johnny was twelve, he loved to swing. Like any kid of his age he listened to the radio where the DJ’s were stars and the artists were galaxies. He dug the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the hits of the 60′s and 70′s. Who knew that one day he’d actually be working with some of them?
Pursuing his love of music, Johnny became a DJ and spent the next twelve years playing Boston’s hottest nightclubs and developing his style. He was named Best DJ by The Boston Record Pool in 1987, an award he still cherishes. Many of his signature mixes found their way onto the airwaves of radio stations in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. Johnny continued mixing and began to write and produce club music. In 1987 he co-produced “Back To Love”, a local favorite in the clubs.
In 1989 Columbia Records hired Johnny as Manager of Dance Music Promotion where he worked with Mariah Carey, George Michael, LL Cool J, Slick Rick, Third Bass, Cypress Hill, The Rolling Stones, Domino, Da Brat, Jamiroquai, Tony Bennett, Fiona Apple and so many more. He was by 1998, Vice President of Columbia’s Work Group label. In 1999, Johnny joined Capitol Records as Vice President of Promotion. At Capitol he worked with Robbie Williams, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, The Beastie Boys, Dilated Peoples, Sammie, Shannon McNally, Kylie Minogue, St. Germaine and other label artists. Along with co-producer Drew Ferrante, Johnny has produced several remixes for Miley Cyrus, Jesse McCartney and The Cheetah Girls, among others. It was Christmas of 1999 when he first ventured into the legendary Capitol Studio A to cut a Christmas song for the annual Capitol employees Holiday CD. It was love at first mike. He found his voice and his true passion. Although he thought it a lark to cut “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” for the CD, the feedback on his performance was so good that his interest in writing and recording was rekindled. After years of working with some of the best artists and record people in the business, Johnny felt it was time to roll the dice and write, produce and perform his very own music. He began writing a series of poems based on Sinatra, the Rat Pack and his own life experiences. The project began smoothly. He teamed up with pianist/arranger Bill Cunliffe and longtime friend and producer Nayan Lassiter. He then began writing original songs in the style of the standards he so lovingly adores. Now he had the makings of a project. While recording at Capitol Studios, the music caught the attention of seven-time Grammy winning recording engineer, Al Schmitt, who offered to work on the project gratis. Johnny could never imagine having such a heavyweight name on the record. Once recorded, Johnny played the record for his dear friend, Billy West. West, a radio personality made famous from his days on the Howard Stern Show and for his brilliant work as the voice for animated characters Ren and Stimpy, and many more, fell in love with the project. West was so taken by Johnny’s original song “I’ve Been In Love”, that he placed it in the Miramax release of “Comic Book: The Movie.” The record is featured in the movie as well as in the end title credit. “I’ve Been In Love” was also featured in an episode of the NBC show “Las Vegas.” His vocals can be heard in the LL Cool J song “New York, New York” which was featured on the HBO Series “Hard Knocks.”
His latest album “A Shot To The Kisser” is the story of love found and love lost – an amazing journey that anyone can identify with. It will be released on Ubiquity Records in February 2013.
Johnny writes, produces and resides in Los Angeles.