Rome Johnson; Entertainer

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Rome Johnson, musician and singer who performed with the Sons of the Pioneers, has died at his Chatsworth home. He was 76.

Johnson died Sunday of cancer, said his wife Patricia Johnson.

Born in Winchester, Ky., Johnson began developing his musical trade when his sister bought him a $2 guitar at age 15. He went on to be a staff musician for the Ford Motor Co., performing at functions for auto magnate Henry Ford. Johnson also worked with Rosemary Clooney at radio station WLW in Cincinnati. After coming to California in 1953, he played in clubs and performed on early television shows. In the early 1970s, Johnson joined the Sons of the Pioneers, singing and playing rhythm guitar and appearing on various television shows including “Hee Haw,” “The Dinah Shore Show” and “The Mike Douglas Show.” He retired in 1983.

In addition to his wife, Johnson is survived by his sons Raymond Johnson of Palmdale, Don Johnson of Sylmar, Bob Johnson of Flippin, Ark., and Rome Johnson Jr. of Reno; daughter Shirley Childers of Germantown, Ohio; stepsons Bill Punches of Canoga Park and Tony Punches of Simi Valley; brother Floyd Johnson of Middletown, Ohio; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.


At his request, there will be no services. The Neptune Society in Burbank is handling the arrangements. Donations can be made in Johnson’s name to the Salvation Army, 900 W. 9th St., Los Angeles 90015.