Col. Walt Johnson

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TURTLE POND MUSIC

It is Your Career, Know the people you are working with

Who is Colonel Walt Johnson ?

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" Don't Call Him A Cowboy Until You've Seen Him Ride"

Col. Walt’s daughter, Wendy Kay Johnson-Smith

Wendy Kay Johnson Smith, RN, BSN. MSN
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Besides being a accomplished musician, Wendy has also recently completed her Masters of Science in Nursing and has been accepted to a Program to achieve her Doctorate in Nursing Practices. ( she claims she gets it all from her Daddy ). We are all proud of her.
Charlene Anderson, C.E.O.

Walt grew up mainly in the East St Louis, Illinois area. His professional influences ranged from Frankie Yankovic , B.B. King, Ernest Tubb, Debussy, Roy August, James " Fuzzy " Walker and Earl Phelps. Walt even got to play with the great St. Louis Bluesman, " Moon Mullins ". He also got a impromptu guitar lesson from Roy August.

Walt was heavily influenced by Folk groups and artist such as “ We Five “, The Seekers” and Gale Garnet. In an era that was almost dominated by the British Invasion music these groups were proving that lasting and important music was still being made in America.

Like most music families Walt's roots go way back. He is second cousins to Bill Johnson and Sandy Daughtery ( " The Kentucky Two " ) who worked with and recorded with Grand Ole' Opry greats " Alonzo and Oscar". Also a distant relation on his Grandfathers side to the Phelps Brothers who founded " The Kentucky Headhunters ".

Walt worked with bands twice his age starting at eleven. When only 15 he fronted a band ( The Mist ) from Sorento, Illinois that opened the show at the Illinois State Fair for Paul Revere & the Raiders and Bob Hope.

In the time since those years Walt has traveled both directions of the globe. Walt is a decorated Viet Nam Veteran and served as Sr. R.T.O. with the 4th Infantry Division Artillery S-2. Prior to his tour in Viet Nam Walt served in Germany with the 3rd Armour Division as an R.T.O. Being a single man at the time Walt was able to use his free time to take in the musical influences of that country as well. After Viet Nam Walt was assigned first to Ft, Gordon where he trained troops and then to Ft. Bragg and the 18th Airborne Corps. Walt also served with H.H.Q. & C Company 121st Infantry Bn. Florida National Guard after active duty as a light weapons specialist. He is also a Life Member of " Disabled American Veterans.

Following his Military Service Walt relocated to Florida. At that time the Panhandle was one of the hottest music areas in the nation. Walt soon realized that in the future a musician was going to have to be educated to make it. Walt has earned degrees from Gulf Coast Community College, University of West Florida, Florida A&M and RHEMA Bible School. Up until recently Walt was the Director of Music at a local church, and studied Studio engineering under Peter Miller, who was the lead engineer for the Beatles , Rolling Stones and numerous others.

Walt expanded his expertise to Concert Promotions. Working extensively with " Country Music Showdown, Inc. " from 1984 to 1992 developing venues, planning and promotion of major concert events through out Alabama, Georgia and Florida. This also included " Battle of the Bands " showcases. The last of these was a event with George Jones and Conway Twitty which was a major success.

In a recent interview Walt is quoted as saying

" The I.R.S. stopped counting at just over 22,000 people that day, and best of all we were able to collect a semi load of toys and food for the Salvation Army Christmas Drive ".

Also, although little noted, some 250 tickets were given to State of Florida Employees and their families in appreciation of their service.

Turtle Pond Music came about when Walt kept being approached by people starting out in the business who needed honest direction with their career goals. People would come to Walt asking for help with song writing and publishing. Walt qualified with B.M.I. Nashville as a Publisher.

Walt then became Shocked at the rising high cost of studio recording, and he knew it could be done right and at a price people could afford, so he built a studio, and launched a management & consulting company along with a Label.

Walt still serves as a consultant to other labels and publishers and has even managed artist who charted on the Music Row Charts as well as recognized I-Music Charts of today. It is not uncommon for labels, artist and publishers to send their music to Walt for his written reviews and input.

In March 2002, Governor Paul E. Patton of the State of Kentucky bestowed the covenant commission of " Kentucky Colonel " on Walt. An honor he is humbled by.

Walt Looks at todays Music Scene this way:

" Today more then ever you need to know what you are doing and you need people working with you who have taken the time to train and educate themselves for the challenges of this industry. The days of handshake deals and poor mans copyrights have ended. You also need someone in the studio who is versed and keeps up with not just current trends, but also, will help you stay a step or two ahead. Also, people who will not look at you as a dollar sign, but as a person and a friend. "

When not working, which is seldom, Walt enjoys his horses. He has also been involved with horse rescue. Pictured on this page is his Arabian named " Chance ". Walt's favorite though is a retired Kentucky thoroughbred race horse that Walt just calls " Hoot " Some of the horses Walt has had have been donated to good causes. You may also find Walt tooling the highways on his customized Honda Goldwing.

Daughter & Family 24 state trip in 2014
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Click on Photo to see the trip video

My Son-In-Law Dwaine Smith USAF ( ret )
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Father of Col. Walt's Grandbabies ( motorcyclist also)

An Khe Viet Nam, 1970
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" The Story Tellers "
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Walt Johnson & Wallace Hobbs

1982 Yamaha FG335e, Fender Precision Bass. ‘51 Fender no-caster, 1969 Fender Jaguar, 1995 Fender Stratocaster, 1998 Ibanez AS80, 2008 Yari 12-string. Not in this group, 2004 Martin Acoustic/ Electric. This is only part of the collection.

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Tools of the Trade

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Col. Walts Martin

Col Walt is also a member of Warrior Watch and Patriot Guard Riders

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Col. Walt's 2012 Goldwing California Cobra Trike

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Col. Walt and his Step Father about to hit the open road

Col. Walt can be available for limited performance engagement.For information on booking click here. Please contact no less than 60 days prior to your event. Thank you.