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 22, 1893 (Chicago), Died July 25, 1975 (Florida)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1917 - 1939
Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, composer, piano, songwriter, arranger
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 101 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||148006||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|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Johnson, Arnold," accessed January 31, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110539.
Johnson, Arnold. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110539.
"Johnson, Arnold." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 31 January 2023.
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