Osie Johnson

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James "Osie" Johnson (January 11, 1923, in Washington, D.C. – February 10, 1966 in New York City) was a jazz drummer, arranger and singer.

He first worked with Sabby Lewis and then, after service in the United States Navy freelanced for a time in Chicago. From 1951 to 1953 he worked in Earl Hines's band.[1]

He can be heard on albums by Paul Gonsalves, Zoot Sims, and Mose Allison. He recorded an album as a singer, "A Bit of the Blues," and had arranged at a "hit" for singer Dinah Washington. His final recordings as a singer were on a J. J. Johnson album, now compiled as a collection called Goodies.

Osie performed at the Harvard Freshman Union building on May 3, 1957, along with Milt Hinton (Bass), Coleman Hawkins (Tenor Sax), Buck Clayton (Trumpet), Urbie Green (Trombone), and Hank Jones (Piano). The group was organized by freshman Joel Pitcoff. Price of admission was $2.50.

Osie died of kidney failure in 1966, at the age of 43.

Television Appearances[edit]

In 1957, Johson appeared with Thelonious Monk and Ahmed Abdul-Malik on The Sound of Jazz.[2]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Kenny Burrell

With Arnett Cobb

With Art Farmer

With Curtis Fuller

With Bennie Green

With Tiny Grimes

With Gigi Gryce

With Lionel Hampton

With Johnny Hartman

With Coleman Hawkins

With Langston Hughes

With J. J. Johnson

  • Goodies (RCA, 1965)

With Mundell Lowe

With Junior Mance

With Helen Merrill

With Phineas Newborn, Jr.

  • Phineas Newborn Plays Jamaica (September 7, 8 & 9, 1957) (RCA Victor LPM 1589)

With Oscar Pettiford

  • Another One, 1955

With Bud Powell

  • Blues for Bud (Columbia, 1958)

With Jimmy Raney, Jim Hall and Zoot Sims

With Shirley Scott

With Zoot Sims

  • Zoot! (Riverside, 1956)

With Sonny Stitt

With Sylvia Syms

With Billy Taylor

With Ben Webster

With Frank Wess


External links[edit]