Peak UK Chart Position: #4 in February 1989.

Happy birthday to Holly Johnson – born William Johnson, in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom – who celebrates turning 57 today. Johnson is an English artist, musician and writer, best known as the lead vocalist of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who achieved huge commercial success in the mid-1980s. Prior to that, in the late 1970s he was a bassist for the band Big in Japan. In 1989, Johnson’s debut solo album, “Blast”, reached number one in the UK albums chart. Two singles from the album – “Love Train” and “Americanos” – reached the top 5 of the UK Singles Chart. In the 1990s he embarked on a painting career.

Quick facts:

  • Johnson has scored four number ones in the UK – three with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and one as part of the charity single “Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey”.
  • The song “Love Traon” peaked highest in both the UK and also Germany, reaching number four.
  • It was his only solo single to make the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, peaking at number 65.
  • The track featured a guitar solo from Queen’s Brian May.
  • In 2015, Johnson began working with Gary Barlow on a song for the film “Eddie The Eagle”. The song “Ascension” was released in March 2016.

Here’s “Love Train”, which was up one to number four this week 28 years ago, shown here performed on Top of the Pops for the first time on January 19th 1989.

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