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James P. Johnson

James Price Johnson (February 1, 1894 – November 17, 1955) was an American pianist and composer. A pioneer of the stride style of jazz piano, he was one of the most important pianists who bridged the ragtime and jazz eras, and, with Jelly Roll Morton, one of the two most important catalysts in the evolution of ragtime piano into jazz. As such, he was a model for Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, and Fats Waller.

Johnson composed many hit tunes including the theme song of the Roaring Twenties; "Charleston" and "If I Could be With You One Hour Tonight" and remained the acknowledged king of New York jazz pianists through most of the 1930s. Johnson's artistry, his significance in the subsequent development of jazz piano, and his large contribution to American musical theatre, are often overlooked, and as such, he has been referred to by Reed College musicologist David Schiff, as "The Invisible Pianist".

Birth and Death Data: Born February 1, 1894 (New Brunswick), Died November 17, 1955 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1918 - 1949

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, composer, songwriter, leader, director, lyricist, banjo, guitar

Notes: Sometimes listed as Jimmy Johnson.

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 251-256 of 256 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Signature T-1916 10-in. 12/18/1943 Over the bars James P. Johnson instrumentalist, piano  
Signature BOB-5 6/7/1944 Oh, lady be good Yank Lawson and his Jazz Band instrumentalist, piano  
Signature BOB-6 6/7/1944 Noteworthy blues Yank Lawson and his Jazz Band instrumentalist, piano  
Signature BT-101 6/7/1944 I've found a new baby Yank Lawson and his Jazz Band instrumentalist, piano  
Signature BT-102 6/7/1944 Jazz me blues Yank Lawson and his Jazz Band instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia (U.K.) WL265 10-in. 12/14/1925 Charleston Clément Doucet ; Jean Wiener Piano duet composer  
(Results 251-256 of 256 records)


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Johnson, James P.," accessed January 26, 2023,

Johnson, James P.. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 26, 2023, from

"Johnson, James P.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 26 January 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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