Johnny Napp
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Johnny Napp

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | AFTRA

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | AFTRA
Band Country Rock


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1) “A great showman with a great band!”
- Dan Wood, GM, Longbranch Entertainment Complex, Raleigh, NC

2) “High Energy! Crowd Favorite!”
- Gary Shotwell, GM, Cattle Annie’s, Lynchburg, VA

3) “Makes you feel like legends are being reborn!”
- Andy A., GM, The Rutledge LMV, Nashville, TN

4) “Johnny Napp is a fabulous entertainer…”
- Laurel Wilson, Dist. Exec. Dir., Bellevue YMCA, Nashville, TN

5) “Napp has played multiple dates for us and has always been a class act who rocks the stage!”
- Jeff Ponchillia, Owner, On The Rocks, Nashville, TN

6) “The best band we have ever had play for our viewers!”
- Bob Grebe, Reporter, WDBJ Channel 7, Roanoke, VA

7) “The fact that Johnny is going to come to our camp and play shows that he finds value in giving back to the community.”
- Courtney Crawford, Program Director, Muscular Dystrophy Association

8) “A unique entertainer who is sincere, extremely energetic, and delivers the goods. A Johnny Napp show is a must see!”
- Richard Armentrout, Prom., Operation Homefront: Tribute To Freedom

9) “Johnny played an “unplugged” show for me in PM Drive. He nailed it! He’s the kind of sincere, talented, guy you want to see make it! I am pretty sure we are seeing the NEXT BIG THING in Johnny Napp.”
- Kenny Shelton, Program Director, WYYD 108, Lynchburg, VA
- Jim Hurtubise


Determined, Johnny Napp is aiming high. Firmly fixed, his eye is keenly on the target. However, for this 22-year-old from Williamsburg, Virginia, we're talking country music high, not the hoops he chases as a basketballer while studying accounting at James Madison University. Napp has just released his debut. Cowboy Up And Party Down, produced by Doc Holiday, is out on Mega International Records. Stoked with 16 tracks, for the singer who stands 6'3" and strummed his first guitar at 10, the album is a childhood ambition delivered.

The album is out on the shelves, thanks to the keen ear and eye of his producer. With 17 Grammy nominations to his musical history, Holiday liked what he saw and heard after a chance meeting with the singer at a recording studio. Impressed enough to pull the strings of studio time in Nashville, Holiday also recruited some bankable songwriters, and, finally, some noted session players to smooth out the six-month schedule. The rest of the story plays out in the varied tracks.

"His voice is great," Holiday recently told a local paper. "He sounds a lot like Tim McGraw. But it's a little softer edge to it that reminds you of Ricky Nelson. Plus, he's a great -looking kid, and it's a cosmetic business whether you like it or not."
So, he's good-looking, and the claim is he sings like McGraw, time to check out the album. Pleasing news: Beyond the rush of needed hype and Holiday's approval, Johnny Napp delivers with a trail of hooky rockers, cryin' towel weepers, and some smooth ballads, all carried with individual style and purpose. Running at just a tad under an hour, the album is value for money. Often, independent artists will mask their flaws by overcompensating with fillers, padded tracks and long indulgent guitar solos; thankfully, Napp doesn't need to stuff those into the mix. If there is a failing, it's that there's no lyric liner or details of songwriters.

Back to the music. The title track kicks. Made for disturbing the neighbors, the pounded piece rocks and vibrates with joyous fiddles, a drummer on a mission, and a host of back-up harmony lovelies. It's out of the chute with a radio-friendly and show-stopping pull, and it could be the needed primer to make listeners into fans.

"How Hot Was It" is a sultry shuffle, while the politically sensitive, "Fight Like A Girl," might claim some awkward looks, the reworked baby boomer memory and Tom Jones classic, "She's A Lady," is a breezy, softly stroked nightclub tune. It is a curious choice and out of place, considering it's more cabaret than country in the version here, but as a showcase for versatility, it works. Just. The rest of the album swings between the accepted album fare of restraint and rock. "How Cool Is That" is an interesting closer, exploring the truth of what you chase, sometimes you don't get. Thankfully. Forget the McGraw and Nelson claims. Johnny Napp is in the early days of his career. He is aiming high, sure, and he is on target. But for now, that's enough. The rest should follow for the singer who avoids the debut hype by simply saying the album is "worth a listen". We agree.

- George Peden


He's not fat. He's not ugly. And he doesn't have unsightly pimples. That - combined with a sweet voice - has turned James Madison basketball player John Naparlo into a budding country music singer.
Naparlo, whose stage name is Johnny Napp, will open for Big Al Downing at the 3,500-capacity Norva in Norfolk on July 1, the same day his debut album, "Cowboy Up and Party Down," is expected to hit stores.
"I'm definitely looking forward to it," Naparlo said this week from his home in Williamsburg. "It hasn't really hit me, but it's getting closer and closer."
That show will only be a warm-up for bigger things, however. On Aug. 27, Naparlo is scheduled to open for renowned country music "outlaw" David Allan Coe, again at the Norva.
The 37-year country music veteran Cow, whose best-known song is "Take This Job and Shove It," isn't exactly the sort of family entertainment that makes image-conscious college athletic officials beam, but there's no doubt that performing with him is a huge step for a no-name singer like Naparlo.

It's awesome in the early stages that we are trying to do some stuff like this," Naparlo said. "It's going to be awesome to be able to put that on the resume, and that David Allan Coe is willing to put me on there."
A Ricky Nelson Voice?

But according to Doc Holiday, Naparlo's producer, the 21-year-old has talent, and Holiday's word apparently carries clout in the country music business. Albums he has produced have earned 17 first-round Grammy nominations. He is especially well-known in the Tidewater area, home of his Power Plant Studio in Hampton."His voice is great," Holiday said of Naparlo. "He sounds a lot like Tim McGraw, but it's got a little softer edge to it that kind of reminds you of Ricky Nelson…. Plus, he's a great-looking kid, and it's a cosmetic business whether you like it or not. Fat and ugly guys with pimples are not going to get it done. Holiday didn't have to discover Naparlo. The 6-foot-3, 180 pound shooting guard's father, Joseph, took him to Holiday's doorstep.
"His father's a character," Holiday said. "He came right in the door at our studio in Hampton a couple of years ago and said, 'I'm Joe Naparlo, this is what I want to do.' I said, 'Well we don't really do that; we only work with major artists.' He said, 'Well, my kid's going to be one of them.'" Holiday eventually came to agree and pulled as many strings as he could to help Naparlo put together an album when Naparlo decided to begin work on the project at the end of last summer. The CD was recorded over a six-month period - between Naparlo's classes and game - at the Quad Studios in Nashville, Tenn., considered one of the best in a city that defines country music.

Holiday recruited what he called "13 of the top songwriters in Nashville" to write Naparlo's songs and several accomplished musicians to accompany Naparlo on the album. Included were keyboardist Mark Jordan, who served as Wynonna Judd's conductor, David Roe, who played bass for Johnny Cash the last 14 years of the Man in Black's life, and drummer Craig Krampf, who has played on tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd. The album was engineered by Bobby Bradley, who has worked with Alan Jackson and George Jones.
"I can't say enough about how much Doc hooked it up on the album," Naparlo said. "We had some prime time players on the instrumental."

The Coe Factor: The musicians will continue to play with Naparlo at the Norva. They'll be with him for the opening shows with Big Al Downing, who turned down a basketball at Kansas State to become a country singer, as well as the show with Coe in front of what will probably be a rowdy audience. "We had a talk about it," Holiday said. "I told him, 'You got to come out smoking. This guy's a maniac and he brings a biker crowd. They're going to want you to kick [butt]. He knows what he's gotta do."
For a white guy playing college basketball, opening with Coe also raises another question. Though Coe has been arguing for years that he is not racist, a series of albums released in the 1970s have earned him a reputation as such that sticks with him to this day.
Naparlo expects his teammates, most of whom are black, to understand that he is simply trying to get his name and his music in front of the public. "All of those guys know who I am and where I am trying to get," Naparlo said. "They respect me and I respect them. They know that I don't have the same beliefs as him just because I'm opening for him. I don't think it's going to be a problem at all." Said JMU coach Dean Keener: "I'm unaware of David Allan Coe's background, so I wouldn't be able to make a comment."

It should be noted that Downing, the first artist Naparlo will open for, is black. While most of the Dukes listen to hip-hop, at least one of Naparlo's teammates has been impressed by the album, which can be heard on his website,
"I'm telling you, it's a great album," senior forward David Cooper said. "If you heard it, you wouldn't even believe it was him. I thought it was a celeb." Cooper said he's going to Naparlo's first show and is trying to bring as many teammates as possible.
"Quote me on this," Cooper said, "everybody that's anybody should be there."

Meanwhile, as Naparlo prepares for his debut, the accounting major also is working for his father's food company, N&R Dining, which runs several Burger King restaurants in the Tidewater area.
As for hoops, Naparlo is working out and looking for pickup games in preparation for his senior basketball season. He'll be trying to erase the memories of the slump that plagued him in his junior year, when he averaged just 1.8 points in 13.7 minutes per game, shooting under 26 percent from the field.

"Basketball and academics are still my primary focus," Naparlo said. "I doubt I'll do anything in basketball after this, but I still want to go out on a good note."
An start his music career on a good one as well.

- Dustin Dopirak


John Naparlo is silent now, drowned out by the country tunes of Johnny Napp. Naparlo loves basketball and Napp, music. It's too bad Naparlo and Napp are one in the same. Which is the reason why last Tuesday, the JMU senior had to announce his decision: pursuing a music career over basketball. Napp, which is his stage name, won out over Naparlo, but not completely by choice."I wanted to do both," says Naparlo, 22.

But the NCAA ruled in September that Naparlo was violating league policy, according to JMU basketball head coach Dean Keener."It was a matter of what's called amateurism," Keener said. "You can't use a likeness of yourself, as a player to promote anything."
And Naparlo has likenesses all over. From the cover of his debut album entitled, "Cowboy Up and Party Down," released in September, to his Web site,, his mug seems to be everywhere. But the Williamsburg native doesn't see a problem with that.
"It's irritating," Naparlo says. "My parents and I talked with [the NCAA] about TV commercials out now that show students as professionals. It's like telling me I can't go to school and have a job," he adds. But it wasn't the school's fault.

"This isn't an issue with JMU," Naparlo said. "It's the NCAA."

Tough Spot
It wasn't easy for Napp to overcome Naparlo."The decision was real tough," he said. "It took two and half to three weeks to make up my mind. I mean, I've been playing basketball since I was 3," he said.
Naparlo said he and his family talked b-ball with the NCAA and Keener between trips down to Nashville to talk music. Once Napp decided to oust Naparlo, he announced it to the team, but there was no bad blood."He left the team on good terms about a week or so ago," said Gary Michael, director of sports media relations for basketball."I have no regrets [about this decision]," he says. "I will miss basketball, though."

Pushing the Image
Napp is taking his future and running with it. On Oct. 12, he took the stage at The Pub in Harrisonburg in front of a crowd of 350 people. Then, the next night, Napp opened for Jason Aldean at the NorVa in Norfolk. That was a big show, but nothing compared to the night of Aug. 27, when he opened for country music legend David Allen Coe."It was awesome," Napp said. "There were about 800 people there. I was a little nervous… but the crowd was real responsive." Napp's next step will take him back down to Nashville to meet with Pam Lewis, founder of P.L.A. Media, a public relations/marketing firm whose first client was an unknown country musician named Garth Brooks. While the whirlwind of attention is surrounding the young musician, Napp's happy to focus on just one talent. And he's taking it all in stride.

"As long as everybody's having fun, I'm having fun," he said. - Joe T. O'Connor


Johnny Napp is becoming one of the fastest popularity-growing singers at JMU, but come Monday morning, he is your average student and answers to the name John Naparlo during attendance.
Oh, and by the way, he also plays on the basketball team for JMU. And you thought your life was a little hectic.

One of the newest country singers on the scene is a senior marketing major at JMU and somehow is able to manage a huge plate of activities effortlessly. But I know some of you are wondering how this basketball player, who averages 15 points a game, is now getting ready to release a CD, Cowboy Up and Party Down, and work with people like Pamela Lewis, who has managed a few names in the business, like Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
"When I told people in Nashville I was working with [Lewis], they all were like, 'Wow,'" Napp said. He also opened for David Allen Coe in August at the Norva in Norfolk and is heading back there Oct. 13 with Jason Aldean. As for here in the 'Burg, Napp's music has just been starting to play on local radio stations like WXJM and his fan club has reached more than 300 members.

Napp has been taking guitar lessons for years, but it wasn't until at a recording session with Doc Holiday that he asked if this was something he could really pursue. "He said I had a chance and that's what pushed me into this," he said. His music has influences from all different genres, and his audience is composed of not just die-hard country fans. As for the idea of becoming a cross-over sensation, Napp has an appreciation for a mix of genres, such as the Nelly and Tim McGraw hit, "Over and Over," last year and likes the idea of a diverse audience.
Napp's family also has been playing a huge supportive role in his music career. His father worked out an arrangement to get advertising through while his mother and two older sisters have been helping with hanging fliers and other ways of promotion. His sisters can also can be credited by influencing him at a young age by playing everything from country to rap and hip-hop.

Napp's promotional manager here at JMU, senior Nick Dulo, has been dedicated to promoting Johnny's talent with his business partner, Chad Franklin of The R Productions.
"Regardless of working for Johnny, I'd still be supporting him and wearing his T-shirt," said Dulo.

His influences - including Garth Brooks - shine through his music, as the style is upbeat and great for getting the party started. Like most musicians, Napp of course gets nervous before performances, but loves the feeling he gets while being on stage where his audience also provides encouragement. "I love looking out and feeding off of the audience," he said. "By the end of the song, they are singing along." While managing a 3.1 GPA, Napp also manages a busy schedule with shows, thankfully with the help and support of his teammates and friends.
"During the season, basketball comes first. Coach has always been so supportive and has let me explore my opportunities." He will be performing this Wednesday, Oct. 12 at the Pub for an 18+ show with songs from his CD, Cowboy Up and Party Down. Tickets can be purchased for $7 at the door and the CD can be purchased online at a later date.
- Lola Sizemore



• Johnny Napp has opened for Jason Aldean, Billy Currington, Rodney Atkins, Blake Shelton, Craig Morgan, Little Big Town, Pat Green and David Allan Coe.

• Johnny also played the side stage at the Nissan Pavillion in Washington, D.C. for the Kenny Chesney/Dierks Bentley concert and again for the Brad Paisley/Sara Evans Concert in the summer of 2006.

• Johnny has headlined honkytonk stages in Nashville, such as the world famous Wildhorse Saloon, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, BB King’s House of Blues, Nashville Palace, On The Rocks, Fuel, The Rutledge LMV, Limelight, Whiskey Island Room and Rocketown.

• Johnny has also been featured at Universities such as East Carolina University and James Madison University and Venues across the Southeast such as, The Country Club, Augusta, GA, Longbranch Entertainment Complex, Raleigh, NC, Cattle Annie’s in Lynchburg, VA, The PUB in Harrisonburg, VA, and The Norva, Norfolk, VA.

• Johnny has also played live for several television news programs across the Southeast, including WBIR’s “Live At Five”, Knoxville, TN, WDBJ, Roanoke, VA, & KATV, Little Rock, AR.

• Johnny has donated his time to headline various charity events, such as the “Tribute To Freedom” Televised Concert Series at BB King’s House of Blues Nashville, TN, “Country Music Fights Cancer” (V Foundation) Concert Series, 2008 Bellevue YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, Nashville, TN, & Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Camp Discovery, Gainesboro, TN.
- Jim Hurtubise


Quotes From Music Row Reporting Stations - Single- “Meat On Her Bones”

"Lovin by the pound? Johnny Napp has the blues by the horns with some Tony Lamas for some
kick in the wranglers...finally a country song about a real woman!!!! "
--Lynn Thomas (Music Director)
KMCO 101.3 FM - McAlester, OK

"We're starting to get some good phones. Johnny lays down a great groove and the song's a hoot"
--Jay Allen (Music Director)
KTNN - Window Rock, AZ

“We tested Johnny Napp I Like A Woman With Meat on Her Bones and the response was very positive. Five out of Six listeners said ‘play it’”
--Doris Day
KXIA Marshalltown, IA

"Johnny Napp's the real deal...we added it the day we received it."
--Steve Martin (Program Director)
LexCountry /Kickin Kuntry US

Parade of Stars e-News- EAR CANDY!!.... BEST SINGLES IN JANUARY!
As expected, there are a lot of sold single releases coming on the market with the beginning of this month. We can’t pull out just one single because there are several strong entries. For example, the new Kenny Chesney “Beer In Mexico” sounds like a smash to me. Even though it smacks of a Jimmy Buffet-written tune, Kenny is the sole writer of this goodie. Kudos to Buddy Cannon for a super production job. Newcomer Beverly Mitchell is going to make some noise with her “Heaven On Earth Down Here”. Though not on a major label, this D. Scott Miller production can compete with the majors. Look for this single to get picked up by a major label. Craig Morgan delivers a very strong and loving vocal on “Tough”. This is a song about a young mother who is very sick – sick enough to be wearing a wig – and Craig’s message comes through in a great fashion. It will be interesting to see just how strong the Broken Bow Records staff can get this ballad played. The most fun song I’ve heard in quite a while is the Alex Harvey tune, “I Like A Woman With Meat On Her Bones”. Artist Johnny Napp does a great job of delivering the song. Here again, a major needs to pick this up.

Quotes About Johnny’s First Single – “Cowboy Up & Party Down”
"Wow, what a perfect song for the summertime! Johnny Napp simply rocks!"
Rick Star- (PD - KNAF/KFAN)

"It's rare that we get listener request for new artists....however, Johnny Napp has had our phones ringing from the first spin!"
Jim Patrick- (PD - KIKT)

"Cowboy Up and Party Down, great summer party song. This one really rocks!”
Bill Gregory (PD- KRXT)

Here is what the Industry is saying about Johnny Napp!

“Johnny Napp is a truly unique individual. There are lots of people who can sing, but Johnny has the ever-illusive x-factor. His voice is one of the most believable I have heard in a long time.”
Eric Paul- Producer (Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt)

"With John's good looks and work ethic, I see a lot of potential with him as a country entertainer."
Pam Lewis- Consultant / Former Manager, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood

If charisma and electrifying performing abilities were not enough, attention to detail, drive, and focus and a team behind him that will not yield.. The world is his Oyster. I have not seen this kind of subtle charisma since Elvis.
Alex Harvey- Song Writer (Delta Dawn, Reuben James, etc.) and Actor

“This kid stands alone carrying the most potential I have ever come in contact with throughout my 45 year career. He's electrifying on stage, his ability to learn in the studio is uncanny and his quickness to adapt to any situation dealing with the public is mystifying to anyone that comes in contact with him. Johnny Napp truly is THE FUTURE OF COUNTRY MUSIC.” - Doc Holiday- Producer
- Jim Hurtubise


Cowboy Up And Party Down (Radio Play)
Meat On Her Bones (Major Radio Play)



“Ladies & Gentlemen, Johnny Napp!” It is these words that welcome the Williamsburg, VA native to the stage before every live music appearance. Yet, it is the energy and the roars of untamed anticipation from the crowd that breathe life into the entertainer and the artist that is Johnny Napp. Before embarking on a journey that would lead him to new evolving heights of professional greatness, Johnny immersed himself into becoming a basketball star.

While playing AAU basketball and excelling at Walsingham Academy and New Hampton School, Napp scratched and clawed his way towards achieving his dream. Through this preparation, Johnny earned a basketball scholarship to James Madison University, where he majored in accounting and marketing. During this time, Napp began tapping into his musical talents and started performing in the area to a growing wave of support. However, due to a violation of NCAA regulations involving the promotion of his musical career while playing basketball, Johnny lost his scholarship and decided to put his dream of becoming a basketball star on hold and move to Nashville to become a country music legend.

With Napp’s style of hard work and relentless determination, his journey took a sharp turn in a different direction, all while yielding tremendous results. His growing list of achievements include:

• Recently Signed By The Consortium Management Group (Who Launched Nashville Country Music & Hollywood Star, Billy Ray Cyrus)

• Opening For Today’s Hottest Stars In Country Music, such as Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Rodney Atkins, Craig Morgan, & Blake Shelton!

• Headlined The Wildhorse Saloon & BB King’s (Nashville, TN), The Country Club (Augusta, GA), Longbranch Entertainment Complex (Raleigh, NC), etc!

• Worked Alongside Some Of Nashville's Most Talented Producers and Songwriters, including Mike Lawler, who has played with the Allman Brothers, James Brown, and Steve Winwood and has written Patty Loveless's Lonely Too Long & Alex Harvey, who has written timeless classics, such as Delta Dawn & Reuben James.

• Hosted & Performed For Numerous Charity Events Including:
o A Live Television Show for "Tribute to America's Operation Freedom”
o 1,000 People Benefit Concert For The Bellevue YMCA's Healthy Kid's Day
o Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Summer Camp in Gainesboro, TN
o Christmas For Kids, Hendersonville, TN
• Featured On Several Television Stations Across The Southeast, such as WBIR (Knoxville, TN), WDBJ (Roanoke, VA), and KATV (Little Rock, AR).

Napp-A-Holics around the nation have embraced Johnny’s soulful hits such as “Meat On Her Bones”, “Tell Somebody”, “Shake It Off”, and “Born In The Sticks”. Johnny Napp’s love for entertaining, fan appreciation, and fire for being a country music icon drive him further along in his journey. Some may say this is where the journey truly begins!