The Early years
Born Juan Pereira Lopez, Jr. on October 16, 1915, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Johnny arrvied on the mainland when he was 4 years old but he often returned to Puerto Rico for performances. He had already recorded numerous songs and had obtained international fame as a singer of popular Latinamerican and American songs when he first returned to Puerto Rico.
Johnny's primary education was in New York. He studied at Columbia University of which he dropped out shortly before graduation to persue a great opportunity to begin a career in the world of ESPECTACULOS.
In Puerto Rico, Johnny had successful performances in Jack's Club which became known as El Flamboyant. He travelled extensively with Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra for three years throughout Latin America and Europe. He also performed with Armando Castro and his Orchestra among others. Johnny was selected as the best singer of Puerto Rico for four consecutive years. Johnny became famous for his recordings with Columbia and Decca records. His recordings of Perfidia, Incertidumbre, Nostalgia, Duerme and El Pajarillo sold by the thousands.
Johnny served active duty in the Army's Special Services branch during World War II where he earned the grade of First Lieutenant. He visited various military camps with groups of artists.
In New York, Johnny performed on three ocassions at Radio City Music Hall, the Waldorf Astoria and St. Moritz Hotels, several nightclubs and restaurants.
His Last Days
At the time of his death, Johnny was in charge of a radio program which under his personal direcction was transmitted daily through WHOM from 5:35 to 6PM for five consecutive years. He was also contracted by a major hotel in Puerto Rico to perform with his own orchestra.
Johnny's last performance was on the evening of Saturday, January 12, 1963 at the Carnaval Pan-Americano Concert held at Town Hall in New York in which several well-known artists also performed. Johnny died unexpectedly at the age of 48 in his home in Queens, New York on January 17, 1963.
The above biography was translated and excerpted from several articles published upon Johnny's death.