Gus Johnson (November 15, 1913 – February 6, 2000) was an American swing drummer in various jazz bands, born in Tyler, Texas, United States. After learning to play drums from his next-door neighbor, Johnson occasionally played professionally at the age of ten in the Lincoln Theater, and performed in various local groups, most notable McDavid's Blue Rhythm Band. Upon graduating from Booker T. Washington High School, Johnson moved to Kansas City, where he took up drumming full-time. He joined Jay McShann's Orchestra in 1938, with his music career being interrupted by his conscription into the military in 1943.
In 1945, Johnson returned from his stint in the military, and relocated to Chicago to perform in the Jesse Miller Band. Johnson played on Willie Dixon's debut album, ‘Willie’s Blues.’ He subsequently played alongside Count Basie and was recorded on the album Basie Rides Again in 1952. Following a recovery from appendicitis Johnson was featured in numerous groups and dozens of recordings in the 1960s. In 1972, his former bandmates from Jay McShann's Orchestra reconvened to record Going to Kansas City. Although Johnson continued to tour into the 1980s, he developed Alzheimer's disease in 1989, which he struggled with until his death on February 6, 2000.
Birth and Death Data: Born November 15, 1913 (Tyler), Died February 6, 2000 (Denver)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1941 - 1959
Roles Represented in DAHR: drums
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 91 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Decca||81739||10/20/1951||Buttermilk and beans||Hal Singer Orchestra ; The X-Rays||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||81740||10/20/1951||Charmaine||Hal Singer Orchestra ; The X-Rays||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||81741||10/20/1951||I've got a pocketful of dreams||Hal Singer Orchestra ; The X-Rays||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||81742||10/20/1951||Blue velvet||Hal Singer Orchestra ; The X-Rays||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||88744||10/7/1955||O dem bums||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||88745||10/7/1955||Nutty||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||88746||10/7/1955||Zanzy||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||88747||10/7/1955||Ida bridges falling down||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||89749||4/10/1956||Frank, but Ernest||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||89750||4/10/1956||Close cover before striking||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||89751||4/10/1956||From A to Z||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||89752||4/10/1956||It looks like rain||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||89753||4/11/1956||we three||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||89754||4/11/1956||The flat cap||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||89755||4/11/1956||The Sonn also rises||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||89756||4/11/1956||Lmeon twist||Larry Sonn Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||93730||10-in.||4/30/1941||Swingmatism||Jay McShann Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||93731||10-in.||4/30/1941||Hootie blues||Jay McShann Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||93732||10-in.||4/30/1941||Dexter blues||Jay McShann Orchestra||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||93733||10-in.||4/30/1941||Vine Street boogie||Jay McShann||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||93734||10-in.||4/30/1941||Confessin' the blues||Jay McShann||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||93735||10-in.||4/30/1941||Hold 'em Hootie||Jay McShann||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||93809||10-in.||11/18/1941||One woman's man-1||Jay McShann Quartet||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||93810||10-in.||11/18/1941||'Fore day rider||Jay McShann Quartet||instrumentalist, drums|
|Decca||93811||10-in.||11/18/1941||So you won't jump||Jay McShann Quartet||instrumentalist, drums|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Johnson, Gus," accessed January 27, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/323849.
Johnson, Gus. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/323849.
"Johnson, Gus." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 27 January 2023.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license
Send the Editors a message about this record.