Born: July 8, 1944 in Gulfport, Mississippi

This interview focuses on the man born John Johan Johanson, best known to the world as “Jaimoe.” Born in Gulfport, Mississippi, just outside New Orleans, Jaimoe grew up listening to the grooves of the early ’60s Crescent City heavyweights: Smokey Johnson, John Boudreaux, and particularly Charles “Honeyboy” Otis. Raised a jazzer in the tradition of Elvin Jones, he quickly established himself in the rough-and-tumble world of R&B on the “chitlin’ circuit,” playing with a wide variety of stars like Clarence Carter, Percy Sledge, and Otis Redding.

When a young guitar-playing firebrand named Duane Allman heard Jaimoe’s playing on a demo, he requested the drummer’s presence at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where he was working as a session man. Several months of hard jamming later, the Allman Brothers Band was born, and Jaimoe has been part of the twin-drummer engine that drives it ever since.