by Anna Coates
Johnny Epperson grew up in Hazlehurst, the son of John and Joyce Epperson. He studied piano under the legendary Lillie V. Mullen. She could never have predicted what a wildly successful career he is having. He has excelled in so many venues, from Broadway to classical to his creation of the role “Lypsinka.” He brought Lypsinka to New Stage some years ago and it was a blast. This is excerpted from a January 22 Times Square Chronicles article by Stephen Sorokoff, the cabaret/ music and co-theatre editor.
“Walking out alone, sitting in front of 88 keys of 7 feet of piano, adjusting your microphone stand so your arms and fingers can move unobstructed while you sing, and then keep the audience entertained for 75 minutes. Last night at Feinstein’s/54 Below John Epperson did just that with a wonderful collection of songs and stories. He did it while leaving his famous stage character “Lypsinka” at home. John is a fine classically trained pianist whose style reminded me of the type of exacting playing required for Broadway rehearsals. If you think that means not main stage ability, think again. George Gershwin and Marvin Hamlisch were rehearsal pianists. This was an evening of wonderful music and humor presented by a very talented, classy gentleman. It reaches the highest level of cabaret and piano bar type of entertainment.
“A big shout out to John’s director Jay Rodgers who I’m sure has a history of seeing many piano/vocalists and his influence was very prevalent in the show, which also contained one fantastic lip-synch number.
“John Epperson is appearing again on January 23rd at 7 PM and take my word for it, you will be able to easily spot him on stage. It’s just John, piano, and mic.”
Sounds like Johnny Epperson is overdue for a performance in his hometown. He certainly deserves a place in our Mississippi Music Museum.
Says, John: “I just love to sing and play the piano, and I want the audience to not only see it, but enjoy it. I hope my enjoyment is contagious. It’s a challenge to make oneself vulnerable, but it’s a must.”