Gus Johnson (jazz musician)
|Birth name||Gus Johnson|
November 15, 1913|
Tyler, Texas, U.S.
|Died||February 6, 2000
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Genres||Swing, big band|
Gus Johnson (November 15, 1913 – February 6, 2000) was an American swing drummer in various jazz bands, born in Tyler, Texas. 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. 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 Alzeheimer's disease in 1989, which he struggled with until his death on February 6, 2000.
With Manny Albam
With Count Basie and the Kansas City 8
With Lawrence Brown
- Inspired Abandon (Impulse!, 1965)
With Coleman Hawkins
- Night Hawk (Swingville, 1960)
With Willis Jackson
With Herbie Mann
- Salute to the Flute (Epic, 1957)
With Chico O'Farrill
- Nine Flags (Impulse!, 1966)
- The Last of the Whorehouse Piano Players (Chiaroscuro, 1979)
- The Last of the Whorehouse Piano Players (Chiaroscuro, 1989)
- Ralph Sutton and Kenny Davern (Chiaroscuro)
With Buck Clayton
- Jam Session (Chiaroscuro, 1974)
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