By Sheryl Aronson
Radio Vision Network, Soul Records Presents After the Show Television Program, MT. Laurel, New Jersey
Robert E. Johnson, CEO of Soul Records welcomed John Hall, The BossMan, on After The Show, to talk about Hall’s illustrious forty-year career as a dancer and singer. Hall began his career as a dancer, then added his vocal talent onto his list of creative abilities and has thrived in both arenas, performing world-wide.
Beginning at the age of seventeen, John Hall formed a dancing group called the Flamingo Dancers in 1978 and this dance troupe had great success: first they were picked up by the Al-Alberts Show (on WPVI TV-Channel 6) in Philadelphia, then they appeared at Club Harlem, and were opening acts for groups such as Keith Sweat, The Chi-Lites, New Edition, The Intruders and Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes. It was here that John Hall was first dubbed, The Boss.
The entertainer said, “The dancers would always ask me, ‘hey boss’ what should we do here… and from then on they called me The Boss because they looked at me as the leader.”
The Flamingo Dancers had two prominent recording artists choose them to do some work. In 1980, the dancing troupe toured with James Brown for six months. It was during this time, John Hall learned the ropes from the King of Soul. “I learned a lot of things from the great man when I was on tour with him. I observed his moves and could imitate them very well.” Story has it, that when James Brown saw John perform one of his songs, James Brown told the dancer, that despite his young age, he was the best James Brown impersonator he had ever seen.
Another artist also appreciated the talents of the Flamingo Dancers. One day a young woman approached John, after seeing the Flamingo Dancer’s show, and asked him if the group would like to record and dance to an original song. He was interested. so they ended up in Camden, New Jersey, at Broadway Eddie’s Record Store. She played him the song called Let’s Do the Michael Jackson, written and recorded by Bobby Eli. “When I heard the song, I knew it was a hit. She told me that we would like to call you the Broadway Thrillers.” Within two days the Flamingo Dancers went to the recording studio of Sigma Sound to record and dance to the song. First they practiced with the record and chose a six-year-old boy dancer to be the lead singer, to sound like Michael Jackson. After being there for a while, they had a visit from a very interesting person. Hall told the story:
“When we were in the studio and practicing, this old guy came in in and sat down. No one paid attention to the old guy. Broadway Eddy stood next to him and kept laughing and laughing while were practicing and we couldn’t figure out why. When we were finished, Broadway Eddie said, ‘While you were performing, you all have been approved to do this recording. We looked at him questioning who had approved us. Broadway Eddie then said, ‘I am going to introduce you to the person who is promoting this record.’ The next thing we knew the old guy pulled his hair down and peeled off a mask. It was Michael Jackson posing as the old guy.”
The BossMan said of Michael Jackson, “He was very nice and humble. He had given Broadway Eddy permission to use the label to put out the video and song.”
After John Hall left the Flamingo Dancers, he was approached by the group Philly Cream. “They asked me if I could sing and I told them about the Michael Jackson experience. Next thing I knew, I was taken into the studio and was taught their songs and dance steps. I traveled throughout the United States with them and then went on a world tour.”
When he arrived home, his nickname, The Boss, became “The BossMan”, because the singers in Philly Cream told him, “The BossMan sounds better, because you command the stage when you perform.”
John Hall has been doing just that for the last thirty years by performing his own shows. His stage name is called The BossMan & Company. He is well-known for the James Brown revival show. “I start off singing songs by Bobby Brown and other cover songs. Then I take the audience into the James Brown Review Show. Even at 55, I even can do a split and move like the man himself.”
He is also the Assistant CEO for Rick Coley’s Now That’s Entertainment Company, who promote concerts in the New Jersey area. Some of the artists performing for their concerts have been Stephanie Mills, the Delfonics, and John Hall will be performing with The Manhattans this coming August.
The BossMan entered in on ground zero, as Soul Music emerged into the culture back in the 1970’s. He spoke about why this music is still so important.
“I came up in that era when Philadelphia International and Motown were formed. This music brings people back into the memoires and makes one reflect on these special times. The music makes you feel good. This hip hop era is good for this generation… and every generation has had its classical music they love. But now especially, we have to cherish our Soul music, because we’re losing the legends everyday who created it.”
Breaking news… Robert E. Johnson, CEO of Soul Records and Rick Coley of Now That’s Entertainment will be collaborating on concerts featuring Soul Records signed artists to perform. Soul Records, After the Show will interview “live”, some of the artists on stage. Some of the artists Now That’s Entertainment has booked are Gladys Knight, Stephanie Mills, Anita Baker, The Intruders, Larry Graham, The Drifters, Coasters and Platters and many more.
Soul Records Television show:
Soundtrack to Let’s do The Michael Jackson:
For more info about John Hall, The BossMan:
The Bossman The Legendary Dobbs Theater
The Bossman Apollo Theater
Biography and detailed information