Farewell Johnny Rodgers, You Will Be Greatly Missed


This morning I was saddened to receive the following message
from Pete Lay.

“It is with deep sadness I have to announce that Johnny Rodgers passed away on Sunday evening January 3rd 2016. Not only a really nice guy, we have lost a wonderful clarinet player. He will be sorely missed.

“I know you all would like to share my condolences to his wife Cathy and to Johnny’s daughter and grandchildren.

“R.I.P. dear friend, your pain is finally over.

With regrets


Johnny and Cathy at Pakefield, November last year. (Photo by Damian Lay)

Johnny and Cathy at Pakefield, November last year. (Photo by Damian Lay)

Johnny fought long and hard against his illness and even played his beloved clarinet with Pete’s Gambit Jazzmen at The Autumn Jazz Parade last September, the last time I spoke to him. He was one of the first jazz musicians to inspire my Jazz&Jazz Paintings and as a tribute, here is my portrait of him on saxophone during the 2011 Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Festival.


At the time I wrote this poem to accompany the portrait:

Passion Personified
Sparkling hues
Rhythm and blues
Dazzling jazz
Passion personified
By Johnny on sax.

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

Please follow and like us:


  1. What sad news. I didn’t play that often with Johnny but when I did it was always a pleasure. A great man and great musician

  2. Alan Cugnoni says:

    Such a nice guy lovely player always a joy to be
    around, he will be sadly missed by so many .

  3. Ernie & Kit says:

    A most warm and friendly talented musician,will never foget his rendition of Earl Bostic’s Flamingo,
    He will be sadly missed in the Jazz world
    Condolences to Cathy & family.
    Ernie & Kit

  4. Sara Halliday says:

    Dear Johnny Rodgers , he will be so missed by all the family, he was a lovely man my uncle Johnny and a great musician, I shall miss your lovely smiley face loved you loads – God bless Sara xxxxxx

  5. Rob Sheed says:

    Such sad news and a huge loss to the jazz world. Apart from being an immensely talented musician, he was the nicest man you could ever meet. He lit up the room with his smile and personality and that’s before he started playing! Our thoughts are with Cathy and the family and also his many friends. Thank you Johnny for all the entertainment and such happy times spent in your company. God bless.
    Rob Sheed (Watford Jazz Club)

  6. Peter Butler says:

    So well put, Rob.

  7. David Arlette says:

    Just learned the sad news. Played with Johnny many, many times in the 70’s to the 90’s and occasionally we met up again for the odd gig more recently after Johnny moved to Norfolk. I don’t think he could read a chord or a note of music but if I, as the piano player, or the guitarist fluffed a chord sequence behind his playing – even slightly – he knew! It all came completely naturally to him which was a great gift and he would accept any gig you offered him, just to get out and PLAY. R.I.P. John-boy – we had some fun when we were all a lot younger!

  8. Michael Burns says:

    Hi Peter, I was told the story of Johnny Rodgers & Irene ‘Mitch’ (Mitchell) Rodgers by their grandson. I’d love to use your portrait of Johnny to illustrate my song ‘Mitch & Johnny’. It’s freely available on soundcloud, If you are agreeable perhaps you could email me [email protected] Here’s a link to the song. https://soundcloud.com/michael-burns-1/mitch-and-johnny-jf-mc

Speak Your Mind