James "Jim" Alan Johnston is a music composer who has been working for WWE since the 1980s; His work is often accredited to the names Jim Johnston, James A. Johnston, and James Alan Johnston.
Johnston's chief role in WWE was providing the soundtrack for WWE programming, in addition to providing musical content for WWE's large output of video games, website content and entrance themes for WWE Superstars and Divas. Johnston achieved fame for producing many of the memorable entrance theme songs for the WWE Superstars, including the likes of The Undertaker, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Big Show, Mr. McMahon amongst hundreds of other superstars, many of which have been released on commercial albums and through iTunes. Since 2014, CFO$ have taken over responsibility for creating entrance themes and musical content for WWE's television output with Johnston now concentrating on WWE's film division WWE Studios, for whom he has written several soundtracks.
Beyond Superstars entrance themes, Johnston composed music for the majority of WWE's pay-per-views and television productions, including show themes, music videos, vignettes, commercials, and tributes. He likens his work to from our executive producer: "'We've got a new guy coming', or 'He's breaking out of a tag team and he needs music'. It's like scoring for a movie: is he a good guy or a bad guy? Is he light and svelte and quick-moving, which dictates a fast tempo, or is he a big plodding kind of a guy, in which case you need a big, heavy, the-wrath-of-God-is-coming-upon-us sound?".
Johnston has scored several film projects for WWE Studios, including The Chaperone, That's What I Am, and The Reunion. He also provided music for other WWE-affiliated products including the World Bodybuilding Federation and the XFL.
Johnston is well known for writing, composing and producing all his compositions alone, in addition to playing all instruments. He will occasionally recruit outside vocalists or additional musicians to contribute when the piece requires, and often prefers to bring in unsigned bands and new artists to provide vocals. In 2008, Johnston publicly expressed his frustration to Billboard at the inability of WWE to secure better promotional deals with artists due to a lack of understanding of the WWE product. He said, "One of my frustrations is getting the word out about just how much music is used in our product. The labels will stumble over themselves to get on MTV, but no one's watching MTV". Conversely, WWE and Johnston have been responsible for helping to fuel a surge in sales for associated acts such as Fuel, Shinedown and Motörhead through their use in WWE productions.