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Gus Johnson

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 (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  
(Results 1-25 of 91 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Johnson, Gus," accessed January 22, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/323849.

Johnson, Gus. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 22, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/323849.

"Johnson, Gus." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 22 January 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/323849

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