Santo & JohnnyRock | 2016
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The Farina brothers, Santo & Johnny, were born in Brooklyn—Santo in 1937, Johnny in 1941. The boys were young when their dad was drafted into the army, stationed in Oklahoma, and heard the sounds of a steel guitar on the radio. Their dad wrote home to their mom, saying, “I’d like the boys to learn to play this instrument.” The boys did, and years later they formed a band, playing at church dances, weddings, and clubs and growing a following in New York City and across Long Island. One night after playing a gig, they couldn’t sleep and started jamming, and they wrote “Sleep Walk,” their signature song that would hit the top of the charts in 1959, earning them a gold record. Over the years, Santo & Johnny would go on to release more than 40 albums worldwide. In 1999, “Sleep Walk” earned BMI’s Millionaires Award, symbolizing 2 million airplays on the radio. That same year, a version of the song by The Brian Setzer Orchestra earned the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. In 2002, Santo & Johnny were inducted into the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.