“Chapel of Love” singer Joan Marie Johnson has died at 72
You surely remember the American pop music girl group of the 1960s The Dixie Cups, who had a No. 1 hit in 1964 with “Chapel of Love”. Well, one of the founding members of the group, Joan Marie Johnson, has died at a hospice in New Orleans at 72.
Johnson died of congestive heart failure last Monday (Oct.3). The singer started the group as a teenager and asked Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins to join. Johnson remained in The Dixie Cups only for the first few years, then she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia and left the group.
The Dixie Cups are best known for a string of hits including their 1964 million-selling record “Chapel of Love“, “People Say“, and “Iko Iko“. The first one supplanted the Beatles’ “Love Me Do” as the No. 1 song on both the pop and R&B charts. The second one peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and at No. 7 on the R&B Singles Chart. The last song aforesaid is a cover of Sugar Boy And His Cane Cutters’ “Jock-A-Mo“.
“Joan will forever be part of our history as she participated in some of our legendary performances during the peak of the 1960s music scene,” The Dixie Cups wrote on their website. “The world has lost a classy lady, who had a magnificent sense of humor, a radiating smile, and was truly one of the best people we know. We will love you forever!”
Joan Marie Johnson is survived by a sister, Ida, and a brother, Howard. A memorial is planned at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Tuesday (Oct.18).