John Thompson Obituary (2021) – Monterey Park, California

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September 15, 1943 – August 21, 2021 A tender reflection from the JT Music team: “Mr. Johnny Thompson, our dear ‘boss’ of the legendary Johnny Thompson Music store, but simply ‘JT’ as we usually call him and for the Most, the community dignitary for the arts and music education, the mainstay of community service for the education of young people, both a father figure and an unassuming champion of bringing together and bringing together many generations of people all over the world, rallying around the beautiful humanity of music, we miss you. Johnny, thank you for all these years of magic through music and learning… the legend of JT Music transcends all boundaries. ” Johnny was a man of energy and focus, commitment and determination, a brilliant mind with an unquenchable desire to learn. His tireless passion rested on the foundation of music education which he believed essential to the development of the brains of growing children, his belief in the universal language of music through changing times, and his unwavering commitment and connection to its roots in Monterey Park. Johnny has literally been connected to music his entire life. He was the first steel guitar student of music industry legend Ernie Ball and by the age of 12 Johnny was winning music awards and competitions, appearing in numerous television shows including a guest appearance on Mickey Mouse Club in 1955. on the Friday Night Talent Gathering. As “Son of Monterey Park” Johnny attended Repetto Elementary School from day one of its opening and graduated from the Mark Keppel High School class of 61. After graduation he opened the Johnny Thompson Music store that for over 60 years has served the San Gabriel Valley and the greater Los Angeles area and beyond. The large Johnny Thompson Music guitar panel has become a bright Monterey Park landmark. Johnny never forgot the people he knew from the early days, including long-standing ties to his favorite teachers and longtime friends. While operating their music store, hosting monthly live music concerts for the community and providing live sound engineering for world famous rock bands, both local / American and those of the “British Invasion “During the new music and cultural movement of the late 60s / early 70s, Johnny also ventured into original music with songwriting and experimental rock music, and then started a band of R&B rock, Hot Rod Lincoln. Johnny mentored many staff and students who would go on to become professional musicians and educators, owners of music stores, and parents of generations of children who continued to reflect the joy of music throughout their lives. Johnny has been recognized and awarded several times for his commitment and dedication to youth and the City of Monterey Park, as evidenced by his support of area school districts and school music events, his involvement in leadership roles in the city’s business district and its involvement. in important decisions. As one teacher wrote, “Johnny will be sorely missed. I so appreciate what he has done for the Alhambra school district. In the 90s he was instrumental in safeguarding the music program. With his personal integrity and commitment to taking a reasoned stance on controversial issues, Johnny has continued to make a difference year after year. Johnny’s later years were no less dynamic as he was open to change and welcomed his creative presence even before major demographic shifts took place in Monterey Park. Johnny was there. As he wrote about it in the California section of the LA Times on October 17, 2016: “Very few are left. All of the downtown business owners have since left or retired. So I guess I’m the last one. is my hometown and my business. I saw no need to sell. I think it all worked. It worked really well! It’s the good thing about America. Diversity always wins out, and that makes everyone a better place. Johnny added that he had no intention of retiring, or leaving Monterey Park. John is gone now, but he is still there in the hearts of the people who knew him. And our hearts are with Nancy, Johnny’s wife of 48 years, his life partner and the miracle of JT Music. The family will have a private reunion. A community tribute and celebration with a benefit concert will be held on Sunday January 9, 2022 in the Barnes Park Amphitheater in Monterey Park. Donations will benefit the Alhambra Educational Foundation. For more information on the celebration, call JT Music at (626) 280-8783 or go to: Johnny ThompsonMusic.com.

Posted by Los Angeles Times on October 30, 2021.


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