Johnny Letman

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Johnny Letman (September 6, 1917 – July 17, 1992) was an American jazz trumpeter.

Letman played early in his career in various Midwest bands, including those of Gerald Valentine, Scat Man Crothers, and Jimmy Raschelle. Moving to Chicago in the middle of the 1930s, he worked with Delbert Bright, Bob Tinsley, Johnny Lang, Nat King Cole (1938), Horace Henderson (1941–42), and Red Saunders (1942). He spent a year or so in Detroit, playing with Teddy Buckner and John Kirby, then moved to New York City in 1944. His credits there include Phil Moore, Lucky Millinder (1945), Cab Calloway (1947–49), Milt Buckner, and Count Basie (1951).

Letman did extensive work as a studio musician and in Broadway shows throughout the 1950s and 1960s. He worked both in and outside of jazz music, and his associations in these decades include Joe Thomas, Stuff Smith, Chubby Jackson, Panama Francis, Dick Wellstood, Hal Singer, Sam Taylor, Eddie Condon, Wilbur De Paris, and Claude Hopkins. In 1968 he played with Milt Buckner and Tiny Grimes in Paris. In the 1970s, he played with Lionel Hampton, Cozy Cole, and Earl Hines. In 1985-86 he led the New Orleans Blues Serenaders, including on a tour of Europe.

Discography as leader[edit]