From the January 10, 2007 FAD:
Johnnie Batchelor Dead at 49
[Elm City, NC] Johnnie Batchelor, lead singer and guitarist for Bluegrass Redemption, died in his sleep last Thursday, January 4, at his Elm City home.
The charismatic Batchelor sang and played guitar for Redemption, one of Fountain General Store’s most popular bands.
Band leader and banjo player Keith Gaster vowed that the band would go on. “Johnnie will be impossible to replace,” he said, “but we’ve all got to keep on with the band.”
Batchelor’s daughter Lindsay is the band’s mandolin player, and his other daughter, Brooke, has sung with the band and at bluegrass jams at Fountain General Store on several occasions.
“We’re all going to miss Johnnie,” said Alex Albright. “He was a really special person, with an incredible presence. He also was an amazingly talented singer and songwriter. Fortunately for the girls, they’ve got a lot of family and church support, and we look forward to getting them back out here playing as soon as they’re able.”
Batchelor was a regular at Robbins Music’s Friday jams in Wilson and was also a member of Les Sandy’s Other Band, which last year recorded the CD A Bluegrass Legend.
“From the first time he came in our store with Brooke, for a bluegrass jam, you could tell he was something special,” added Albright.
Johnnie Edward Batchelor was born on March 30, 1957. In addition to daughters Stephanie Brooke and Lindsay Michelle, he is survived by his wife, Kim Edwards Batchelor; two sisters, Fannie Batchelor Pridgen of Nashville and Joyce Batchelor Stone of Rocky Mount; and two brothers, Marvin Earl Batchelor of Nashville and Jarvis Lee Batchelor of Rocky Mount. His parents, also deceased, were Edward Claudius Batchelor Jr. and Lula Mildred Anderson Batchelor.
He was buried last Saturday at Evergreen Memorial Park in Wilson.
• • •
Watch Johnnie performing “Bluegrass Stomp” with Les Sandy’s Other Band at RAF in 2006.