Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’: Who are Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton?

The Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness has taken a world of social distancing individuals by storm. The seven-part series tells the story of Joe Schreibvogel — better known as Joe Exotic, the “Tiger King.” 

Amidst running the G.W. Zoo in Oklahoma, Exotic also took on several other ventures, including a career in country music. “Tiger King” enthusiasts won’t be shocked to learn that Exotic wasn’t responsible for the vocals on his songs. Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton of the Clinton Johnson Band are behind Exotic’s career as a country musician. 

real singers behind Joe Exotic's music
Joe Exotic – Tiger King | Netflix

Country music artists Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton

Johnson served as the songwriter for the Clinton Johnson Band, and Clinton was the singer. Before working with Exotic, the band experienced success working on music for small movies like Nude Nuns with Big Guns and television series like Justified.  

Johnson told TMZ the duo responded to an ad Exotic had posted requesting help creating a theme song for his reality show. Thinking they could gain exposure, the duo agreed to work with Exotic pro bono on a number of cat-themed songs. Johnson and Clinton are both credited for “Archival Footage” in the docuseries.

Joe Exotic TV

The duo recorded three albums worth of songs for the “Tiger King” before Clinton died from a heart-related issue.

The Clinton Johnson Band wrote the ‘Tiger King’s songs

After discovering the country duo’s ability to create personalized lyrics for client’s with a variety of needs, Exotic knew he could help in the creation of his custom cat songs.

Johnson explained their writing process to TMZ: Exotic would giving him a theme and some details; then, Johnson would write a song, and Clinton would sing it. The completed version was then emailed to Joe, who would dub it over footage of him strolling through his private zoo.

Joe Exotic pretended to sing 

Big cat lover Exotic flaunted his zoo in many of his music videos. While the content of the songs was Exotic’s idea, the vocals and music are wholly produced by the Clinton Johnson Band. Johnson was floored to learn that Exotic was using their talents in music videos where he is pictured lip-synching and pretending to play guitar. 

The band quickly came to the realization that their music was never going to be used outside of Exotic’s low-budget YouTube videos. Speaking to Vanity Fair years after their collaboration, Johnson reflected: “We all get what’s coming to us in the end, be it good or bad. Joe, all in all, was likable. Most people just bore the hell out of me. They have the personality of a lobster. He’s a seedy shyster, but he’s got personality.” 

With the success of the Netflix documentary, Johnson is hopeful that the Clinton Johnson Band might be able to get the recognition it deserves. Johnson told TMZ that while he has received a lot of calls from journalists and media outlets, he would “prefer to get some calls from music labels.”

So far, he hasn’t had any luck.