Money Johnson

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Harold "Money" Johnson (February 23, 1918 - March 28, 1978) was an American jazz trumpeter.

Early life[edit]

Johnson was born in Tyler, Texas, on February 23, 1918.[1] He first played trumpet at age 15.[2]

Later life and career[edit]

He moved to Oklahoma City in 1936 and jammed with Charlie Christian and Henry Bridges before joining Nat Towles's band.[1] He played with Horace Henderson and Bob Dorsey before returning to Towles's band in 1944 in Chicago.[1] He also played with Count Basie, Cootie Williams, Lucky Millinder, and Bull Moose Jackson in the 1940s.[1] Despite being a part of these high profile bands, Johnson did not gain fame.[2] His associations in the 1950s included Louis Jordan (1951), Lucky Thompson (1953), Sy Oliver, Buddy Johnson, Cozy Cole, Mercer Ellington, Little Esther (1956), and Panama Francis (for performances in Uruguay in 1953).[1]

In the 1960s Johnson played in the house band at the Apollo Theater in New York, and recorded with King Curtis in 1962.[1] He toured the USSR with Earl Hines in 1966.[1] From 1968 he played in the Duke Ellington Orchestra and also worked again with Hines and Oliver.[1] He recorded with Buck Clayton in 1975.[1] Johnson's last performance was on the night before he died of a heart attack,[2] which was on March 28, 1978, in New York City.[1]


With Jack McDuff

With Duke Ellington

  • Second Sacred Concert (Prestige, 1968)

With Houston Person

With Duke Ellington

  • New Orleans Suite (Warner Bros., 1970)

With Duke Ellington

  • The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse (Original Jazz Classics, 1971)

WIth Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

  • Up In Duke's Workshop (Original Jazz Classics, 1972)

With Buck Clayton

  • Buck Clayton Jam Session (Chiaroscuro, 1975)

With Duke Ellington Orchestra / Mercer Ellington

  • Continuum (Fantasy, 1975)

With Duke Ellington

  • Ellington Suites (Pablo, 1976)

With Duke Ellington and His Orchestra

  • The Ellington Suites: The Queen's Suite/The Goutelas Suite/The Uwis Suite (Original Jazz Classics, 1976)

With Duke Ellington

  • The Intimate Ellington (Concord, 1977)

With Duke Ellington

  • Private Collection, Vol. 9: Studio Sessions, New York (Saja, 1989)

With Duke Ellington

  • Private Collection, Vol. 10 (Saja, 1989)

With Duke Ellington

  • Never Before Released Recordings 1965-1972 (Musicmasters, 1991)

With Duke Ellington

  • Cool Rock (Laserlight, 1992)

With King Curtis

  • Blow Man, Blow! (Bear Family, 1992)

With Louis Jordan

  • Let the Good Times Roll (Imports, 1992)

With Barbara Lewis

  • Hello Stranger: The Best of Barbara Lewis (Rhino, 1994)

With Jesse Stone

  • Jesse Stone Alias Charles "Chuck" Calhoun (Bear Family, 1996)

With Houston Person

  • Legends Of Acid Jazz (Prestige, 1996)

With Lucky Millinder

  • Back Beats (Pearl, 1996)

With Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

  • Berlin '65/Paris '67 (Pablo, 1997)

With Cootie Williams and His Orchestra

  • 1945-1946 (Classics, 1999)

With Cootie Williams & Luis Russell

  • Big Bands At The Savoy (Allegro, 1999)

With Louis Jordan

  • Let The Good Times Roll: The Anthology 1938-1953 (MCA, 1999)

With Lucky Millinder

  • 1943-1947 (Classics, 1999)

With Red Prysock

  • Swingsation (Verve, 1999)

With Duke Ellington

  • Highlights From The Duke Ellington Centennial Edition, 1927-1973 (RCA Victor, 2000)

With Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson

  • Primary Cuts, Vol. 1 (Catfish, 2000)

With Duke Ellington

  • Togo Brava Suite (Storyville, 2001)

With Duke Ellington

  • Live & Rare (Bluebird RCA, 2002)

With Pearl Bailey

  • 1944-1947 (Classics, 2002)

With Bull Moose Jackson

  • 1945-1947 (Classics, 2003)

With Lucky Thompson

  • Lucky Moments (Ocium, 2003)

With Duke Ellington

  • Rugged Jungle (Lost Secret, 2004)

With Pearl Bailey

  • Takes Two To Tango (Asv/Living Era, 2004)

With Cozy Cole

  • Cozy Cole/Savina (Love, 2005)

With Kreators

  • Personals (RAF Multimedia, 2005)

With Duke Ellington

  • New York, NY (Storyville, 2008)

With Duke Ellington

  • Live in Warsaw October 30, 1971 (Gambit, 2009)

With Jessye Norman

  • Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy (London/Decca, 2009)

With Duke Ellington

  • Last Trip To Paris: Nov 14 1973 (City Hall, 2013)

With Duke Ellington

  • Mara Gold (Squatty Roo, 2014)[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Beck, Frederick A.; Kernfeld, Barry (2003), Johnson, Money (Harold), Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, retrieved December 19, 2018, (Subscription required (help)) Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott. "Money Johnson". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  3. ^