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Johnny Rebel is perceived all over the world as the forerunner of “hate-core” music. He is known for his racially charged songs. Fondly known as Pee Wee Trahan, the white supremacist was an American singer, guitarist and songwriter.
He was most famous in the 60’s – 80’s as he inspired the formation of over 500 hate rock bands around the world. Assuming his music has no place till date may be wrong as the United States still battles with racial differences.
Virtually all of Johnny’s songs are described as the Segregationists delight. Johnny Rebel’s Klassic Klan Kompositions(KKK) is no. 2 seller on Resistance Records white supremacist list. Following the Ethnic Cleansing Videogame.
Johnny Rebel Biography
Johnny Rebel’s real name is Clifford Joseph Trahan. “Johnny Rebel” was his professional segregationist identity. He was born on September 25, 1938, in Moss Bluff, Louisiana, United States. His parents were Homer Trahan and Elizabeth Breaux Taylor. After their divorce, Johnny relocated with his mother to Crowley.
Growing up, he enjoyed listening to Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Supporting what appears to be an obvious potential talent, his mother whom he recalls was making a weekly $14 went out of her way to gift him with his first ever guitar worth $17 at the age of 12.
In 1956 he graduated from high school. As a young musically talented Cajun man, Johnny started out doing covers of other people’s songs. In search of a break, he moved from Lousiana to Nashville, where he lived briefly and finally returned home when things didn’t go well like he hoped.
Back home Johnny started spending time with J.D Miller in his popular studio. Miller who owns the Reb Rebel Records in Crowley had heard him sing and took interest in his talent; hence started nurturing his musical skills. While recording with Miller, he transitioned into the globally known “Johnny Rebel”.
His songs which he insists were solely his views at the time were out-rightly racist and targeted at African-Americans. Johnny Rebel recorded songs such as Lookin’ For a Handout, Nigger, Nigger, Some Niggers Never Die (They Just Smell That Way), In Coontown and Kajun Ku Klux Klan. His style has been diversely categorized as Country, Rockabilly, Honky Tonk and Outlaw Country. Four of his songs were contained in a 1971 full-length compilation album titled For Segregationists Only.
In time Johnny’s fame fizzled. He went on a hiatus for 3 decades; leading to the use of yet another pseudonym to sing. He did country songs and wrote songs for other stars. He reportedly wrote Jimmy C. Newman’s hit song Lache Pas la Patate and co-wrote Johnnie Allan’s South to Louisiana.
Contrary to the controversies raised by his raw racial songs, Johnny said he had good reasons for making the kind of “seemingly racist” songs that he did. Ordinarily, the Louisiana singer said he couldn’t care much about anyone’s skin colour. However, he says he had a problem with their attitude which was negatively directed to the whites. It was his opinion that blacks had never really forgotten their harsh history, and as such rubs off in their relationship with the whites.
He also admitted that the resentment went both ways. His views were covered in a 2015 Canadian documentary Acadie black et blanc. According to him, he dared speak the minds of many around him at the time. Similarly, his stern racist views have subsided over time. Johnny Rebel retired in 1985 but still performed occasionally. He died on September 2016 in Rayne, Louisiana.
Rebel’s Family Life
Johnny Rebel was married once. He was together with his wife Ann for 56 long years and was the father of four children: Raye, Randal, Rhonda, and Rhett. Johnny is sceptical about being in the public eye. Consequently, there are just very few family details and pictures available to the media. The late country musician reportedly handed over his driving school to his son in 2008.
Quick Facts about Johnny Rebel
1. Johnny was born, raised and died in Louisiana;
2. He died twenty-two days from his 78th birthday;
3. His name, Johnny Rebel is often mistakenly identified as David Allan Coe’s pseudonym;
4. Likewise, some of his songs have also been wrongly thought to be those of Buddy Holly and Johnny Horton;
5. He was proudly a white supremacist country musician.