Born: March 10, 1938
Johnnie Allan learned to play guitar from his mother when he was eleven years old. While still in high school, he played six to eight gigs a week with Lawrence Walker until the popularity of Cajun music began to wane.
Allan and his bandmates changed their style to what would became “Swamp Pop”, a combination of Cajun melodies, country, rock and roll, and blues. The Krazy Kats recorded "Lonely Days, Lonely Nights" in 1958 with Floyd Soileau and "Letter of Love" the following year. During this time, Allan attended the University of Southern Louisiana in Lafayette, graduating with a degree in Education.
Six weeks into Allan’s first teaching job, he was called into active duty in the National Guard for the Berlin Crisis. When he returned, he discovered that his band’s song, "Your Picture" was on the radio.
Between 1967 and 1969 Johnnie Allan focused on his master's degree. He was persuaded by accordionist Bessyl Duhon to reform the Krazy Kats in 1970. They did a swamp pop version of "The Promised Land," which had been recorded by Chuck Berry and also performed by Elvis. In 1978, a re-released version of the song made it to the Capital Radio Top Ten.
Through the 70’s, Allan worked as a school administrator by day, and performer by night. He became the premier authority on Cajun music and culture, writing several books on the subject. A collaboration with Bernice Larson Webb produced the story of singer and songwriter Jimmy Donley titled, "Born to be a Loser" in 1993.
As the ambassador of Swamp Pop and Southern Louisiana culture, Johnnie Allan also hosted a Swamp Pop music radio show on public radio station KRVS for many years in Lafayette.