Arnold Johnson

Arnold Johnson (March 23, 1893 in Chicago – July 25, 1975 in St. Petersburg, Florida) was an American big band pianist, arranger, composer, and leader during the swing jazz era.

Johnson worked in a Chinese restaurant in Chicago as a pianist when he was fourteen years old, and also worked as an accompanist for vaudeville revues. He studied at the Chicago College of Music and the American Conservatory of Music. He took a job as a pianist in Rudy Wiedoeft's New York-based Frisco Jass Band in the early 1920s, and also worked briefly in real estate around this time. He formed his own band in the middle of the 1920s, which recorded for Brunswick Records and Vocalion Records; Freddy Martin and Harold Arlen were sidemen in the group. Later, Vic Berton, Bob Chester, and Danny Polo would join the band, which played in the Broadway musicals George White Scandals, Greenwich Village Follies, and Earl Carroll's Sketchbook in 1928-1929. The group performed frequently in dance halls in New York and Chicago.

Johnson disbanded the group in the early 1930s, and became involved in the broadcasting business, working as a director and producer of radio programs such as National Amateur Night.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 22nd, 1893 (Chicago), Died Florida

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1917 - 1939

Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, composer, piano, songwriter, arranger

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 99 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-23378 10-in. 12/16/1919 Oh! Paul Biese’s Novelty Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-24524 10-in. 10/14/1920 Ping pong poo Vernon Trio Instrumental trio, with oboe composer  
Victor B-24863 10-in. 2/17/1921 My mammy Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with piano duet instrumentalist, piano  
Victor C-25005 12-in. 3/16/1921 All for you Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-25350 10-in. 6/16/1921 Sweetheart Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-28882 10-in. 11/6/1923 The only girl Jack Chapman Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor BVE-50553 10-in. 3/22/1929 Tear drops Henry Halstead Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-56107 10-in. 8/23/1929 Don't hang your dreams on a rainbow Bernie Cummins ; New York Biltmore Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-57236 10-in. 12/7/1929 Hollywood Ted Weems Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BSHQ-72838 10-in. 6/2/1932 Good-bye blues Roane's Pennsylvanians Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solos and vocal chorus composer  
Victor BS-040689 10-in. 8/28/1939 Does your heart beat for me? Carl Lorch Orchestra ; Shirley Dean Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer  
Victor [Trial 1924-11-12-01] 10-in. 11/12/1924 I'm a little black bird looking for a blue bird Florence Mills Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor [Trial 1924-11-12-02] 10-in. 11/12/1924 Dixie dreams Florence Mills Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 78824 10-in. 11/21/1919 "O" (Oh!) Straight's Trio Instrumental trio composer  
Columbia 78826 10-in. 11/24/1919 "O" (Oh!) Ted Lewis Jazz Band Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia 78851 10-in. 12/9/1919 "O" (Oh!) Jack Kaufman ; Ted Lewis Jazz Band Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia 79759 10-in. 3/7/1921 Dreaming Columbia Saxophone Sextette Saxophone sextet composer  
Columbia 79763 10-in. 3/25/1921 Sweetheart Yerkes Jazarimba Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia 79792 10-in. 3/22/1921 All for you Happy Six Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia 80754 10-in. 12/29/1922 The lovelight in your eyes Edwin Dale Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 80819 10-in. 1/31/1923 The lovelight in your eyes Manhattan Dance Orchestra [i.e., Hotel Pennsylvania Orchestra] Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia 81484 10-in. 1/13/1924 The only girl Leo Reisman Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Columbia W148006 10-in. 2/28/1929 Tear drops Lester Cortes ; Jerome Conrad Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W148597 10-in. 6/19/1929 Tear drops Hotel Mark Hopkins Orchestra ; Anson Weeks Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio composer  
Columbia W148771 10-in. 7/1/1929 Don't hang your dreams on a rainbow Fred Rich Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
(Results 1-25 of 99 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Johnson, Arnold," accessed October 28, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110539.

Johnson, Arnold. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 28, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110539.

"Johnson, Arnold." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 28 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110539

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