Like his much more famous brother Billy Stewart, Johnny was born and raised in Washington DC. They both sang locally in the 50s with their brothers Frank and James as the 4 Stewart Brothers. Johnny was a member of the Jones Boys in 1957 before trying his hand at a solo career. His first release was the fine blues ballad Come On And Love Me on which it is clear that Little Willie John was a key influence. This appeared on New York's Shelley label courtesy of their link with DC's famous Lillian Claiborne.
Stewart's second - and I think last - 45 came out on Bob E Lee's Washington DC based Start concern. Misery Loves Company is another excellent blues ballad with Johnny hollering out his troubles in a strong, grainy tone perfectly suiting the number's bleak lyric. We could have done with more tracks of this calibre from such a fine vocalist.
Special thanks to my great friend John Broven, his wife Shelley and Jay Bruder for info and permissions. Both sides of Stewart's Shelley 45 are included on John Broven's double CD "The Best of Golden Crest" recently released by Ace UK.
Note ~ The Johnny Stewart on Vita may well be a different artist.