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Canadian Heritage

Shox Johnson


SHOX JOHNSON (vocalist) was born STEPHEN ROSS WILCOX in 1956. He passed away in the year 2000 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Posing as an old-school jazz hipster known for his wit and deliverately tacky outfits, ‘Shox Johnson’ as he was known in all of Toronto’s rock bars, jazz clubs, and concert halls, liked to say he had a PhD from the University of the Streets.

When he passed away, The Toronto Star eulogized him, reporting, “During the late 1970s and and early 1980s, at the height of the disco and punk eras, Shox Johnson and his Jive Bombers rocked Toronto's after-hours clubs and bars. The nine-piece band's zany stunts and spontaneity, coupled with their hard-hitting brand of jazz and rhythm and blues, secured it something of a cult following... originators of the big band revival that is seeing a resurgence in the present day”.

Shox Johnson and The Toronto Jive Bombers (led by trombonist John Karpenko, with Alex Dean and Del Dako on saxophones, Larry Cramer on trumpet, Martin Loomer on guitar, Chris Conner on bass, and Curt Smith on drums) performed in concert during the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Series at the Ontario Science Centre on March 24, 1980.