How popular is the baby name Johnny in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Johnny and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Johnny.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Johnny

Number of Babies Named Johnny

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Johnny

The Arrival of Lillette

lillette, song, 1940s, baby nameThe rare name Lillette appeared in the U.S. baby name data for four sequential years from the late ’40s to the early ’50s:

  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: 5 baby girls named Lillette
  • 1950: 9 baby girls named Lillette
  • 1949: 9 baby girls named Lillette
  • 1948: 8 baby girls named Lillette
  • 1947: unlisted

Where did the name come from?

A song called “Lillette,” written and composed by Jack Gold in 1948. The same year, it was recorded and released by various vocalists: Nat King Cole, Vic Damone, Bill Lawrence, Jean Sablon, Johnny Desmond, and others.

Billboard preferred the King Cole Trio version:

Cole’s tasty rhythm treatment of the appealing rhythm ballad looks like a good bet for the jukes, the jocks, and the over-the-counter sales. Standout among some half-dozen waxings of the tune, the impeccable Cole treatment brings out the best in the lyric and melody. Worthy of attention, too, is Vic Damone’s Mercury platter of the ditty.

Here’s Nat King Cole’s version of “Lillette”:

I’m not sure where Jack Gold found the name Lillette, but one possibility is jazz vocalist/pianist Lillette Thomas, who was putting out singles on Sterling Records in the mid-1940s.

Do you like the name Lillette?

Source: “Record Possibilities.” Billboard 9 Oct. 1948: 39.

Name-Song Tournament: 1950s & 1960s (Winner)

The winner of the championship round is…“Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry!

Berry’s semi-autobiographical “Johnny B. Goode” was released on March 31, 1958 — sixty years ago tomorrow, coincidentally — and was the very first “rock song about the glory of being a rock star.”

Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play the guitar just like a ringin’ a bell.

Here’s Chuck playing the song live:

In 1977, the song was considered culturally significant enough to be included on Voyager spacecraft’s golden phonograph record. A few years later, it was featured in a key scene in the film Back to the Future (1985).

So how did the character in the song come to have the name Johnny B. Goode?

The first name came from pianist and longtime Berry collaborator Johnnie Johnson (“one of the unsung heroes of rock and roll”). The surname came from Chuck Berry’s childhood address (2520 Goode Avenue in St. Louis).

The song “Johnny B. Goode” didn’t have an effect on the baby name Johnny, but then again it didn’t need to — the name was within the top 100 all the way from the early 1930s until the late 1970s.

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So thank you to everyone who participated in the name-song tournament this year! If anyone has any fun ideas for a future name-related tournament (cartoon characters, weird place-names, etc.) please let me know.

Sources: Johnnie Johnson – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Why Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’ Is a Rock ‘n’ Roll Classic

Name-Song Tournament: 1950s & 1960s (Championship)

We’re down to the final two songs of the tournament!

  • “Johnny B. Goode” (1958) by Chuck Berry
  • “Peggy Sue” (1957) by Buddy Holly and The Crickets

Both of these early rock classics are strong contenders for the title. They also have a few things in common, like…

  • Both reached the Billboard top 10 in the late ’50s. “Peggy Sue” peaked at #3 and “Johnny B. Goode” peaked at #8.
  • Both were included on Rolling Stone‘s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” “Johnny B. Goode” was ranked 7th and “Peggy Sue” was ranked 197th.
  • Both were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame the very same year (1999).

So which one will you choose?

Which should be crowned the #1 name-song of the late '50s/early '60s?

  • "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry (81%, 13 Votes)
  • "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets (19%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 16

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Voting ends tomorrow night. The Champion will be announced on Friday.

Name-Song Tournament: 1950s & 1960s (Final Four)

Jack has indeed hit the road! The classic Ray Charles song got knocked out in the last round.

Now it’s time for the final four. Here are the match-ups:

Group 1 vs. Group 2

  • Group 1 winner: “Eddie My Love” (1956) by The Teen Queens
  • Group 2 winner: “Johnny B. Goode” (1958) by Chuck Berry

Which song is better? (Group 1 vs. Group 2)

  • "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry (80%, 12 Votes)
  • "Eddie My Love" by The Teen Queens (20%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Group 3 vs. Group 4

  • Group 3 winner: “Peggy Sue” (1957) by Buddy Holly and The Crickets
  • Group 4 winner: “Runaround Sue” (1961) by Dion

Which song is better? (Group 3 vs. Group 4)

  • "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets (57%, 8 Votes)
  • "Runaround Sue" by Dion (43%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 14

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Voting ends tomorrow night. The Championship round starts Wednesday morning.

Name-Song Tournament: 1950s & 1960s (Elite 8)

name-song tournament

Elvis has left the building! The one Elvis song in this tournament — “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” — didn’t not survive the Sweet 16 round. But a couple of lesser known songs have made it to the Elite 8: “Eddie My Love” by one-hit wonders The Teen Queens and “Ride on Josephine” by Bo Diddley. Will they be able to hang on?

Over the next three days, we’ll narrow it down to the 4 top contenders. Here are the match-ups:

Group 1

Eddie My Love” (1956) by The Teen Queens vs. Barbara Ann” (1961) by The Regents

Which song is better? (1 of 4)

  • "Eddie My Love" by The Teen Queens (62%, 8 Votes)
  • "Barbara Ann" by The Regents (38%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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Group 2

Hit the Road Jack” (1961) by Ray Charles vs. Johnny B. Goode” (1958) by Chuck Berry

Which song is better? (2 of 4)

  • "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry (67%, 10 Votes)
  • "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles (33%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Group 3

Lucille” (1957) by Little Richard vs. Peggy Sue” (1957) by Buddy Holly and The Crickets

Which song is better? (3 of 4)

  • "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets (75%, 9 Votes)
  • "Lucille" by Little Richard (25%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Group 4

Ride on Josephine” (1960) by Bo Diddley vs. Runaround Sue” (1961) by Dion

Which song is better? (4 of 4)

  • "Runaround Sue" by Dion (73%, 8 Votes)
  • "Ride on Josephine" by Bo Diddley (27%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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…Polls for this round close on Sunday night. The Final 4 round starts on Monday morning.