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James P. Johnson

Biography

Among the great jazz pianists ever, Adam P. Johnson was the ruler of stride pianists within the 1920s. He started working in NY clubs as soon as 1913 and was quickly named the pacesetter. In 1917, Johnson started producing piano rolls. Duke Ellington discovered from these (by slowing them right down to half-speed), and some years afterwards, Johnson became Extra fat Waller’s instructor and inspiration. Through the ’20s (beginning in 1921), Johnson begun to record, he was the nightly superstar at Harlem lease parties (associated with Waller and Willie “The Lion” Smith) and he composed a few of his most well-known compositions during this time period. For the 1923 Broadway present Running Crazy (one of is own dozen ratings), Johnson constructed “The Charleston” and “OLD-FASHIONED Like,” his previously piano feature “Carolina Shout” became the check piece for various other pianists, plus some of his various other music included “EASILY Could Be together with you 1 HOUR Tonight” and “A Porter’s Like Song to some Chambermaid.” Ironically, Johnson, probably the most advanced pianist from the 1920s, was also a specialist accompanist for blues performers and he starred on many unforgettable Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters recordings. Furthermore to his single recordings, Johnson led some scorching combos on information and guested with Perry Bradford and Clarence Williams; he also distributed the limelight with Extra fat Waller on several events. Because he was extremely interested in composing longer functions, Johnson (who experienced made up “Yamekraw” in 1927) spent a lot of the ’30s focusing on such items as “Harlem Symphony,” “Symphony in Dark brown,” along with a blues opera. Regrettably a lot of this music continues to be lost over time. Johnson, who was simply only semi-active like a pianist throughout a lot of the ’30s, began recording once again in 1939, frequently sat along with Eddie Condon, and was mixed up in ’40s despite some small strokes. A significant heart stroke in 1955 completed off his profession. The majority of his recordings have already been reissued on Compact disc.

Quick Facts


Full Name James P. Johnson
Died November 17, 1955, Jamaica, New York City, New York, United States
Profession Composer, Jazz Pianist
Nationality American
Music Songs Carolina Shout, Black Water Blues, You've Got to Be Modernistic, Harlem Strut, Old Fashioned Love, Snowy Morning Blues, Keep Off The Grass, Twilight Rag, Steeplechase Rag, Boogie Woogie Stride, Jingles, Worried And Lonesome Blues, Caprice Rag, Carolina Balmoral, Daintiness Rag, If Dreams Come True, Over the Bars, Blueberry Rhyme, Victory Stride, Harlem Choc'late Babies on Parade, Eccentricity, Runnin' Wild Medley, My Handy Man, Arkansas Blues, Bleeding Hearted Blues, Blue Note Boogie, Jersey Sweet, It Takes Love to Cure the Heart's Disease, I Ain't Givin' Nothin' Away, Look What a Fool I've Been, Lorenzo's Blues, You Don't Understand
Albums Snowy Morning Blues, 1921 - 1926, The Original James P. Johnson: 1942-1945, Piano Solos, James P. Johnson & Coleman Hawkins, Empress Of The Blues Volume 2: 1926-1933 (CD A, 1926-1928), Leisure Time, The Dream (Live), Easily Stop Time, Fascination, The Harlem Strut, Father of the Stride Piano (All Tracks Remastered 2017), Harlem Stride Piano: 1921-1929, The Town Hall Concerts One and Two, Three of a Kind - Classic Recordings, Toddlin, James P. Johnson Selected Hits Vol. 2, Carolina Shout, The Magic Masters, The Chronological Classics: James P. Johnson 1928-1938, Complete Jazz Series 1921 - 1928, Like A Swan, Simply the Best Of…, The Chronological Classics: James P. Johnson 1945-1947, The Chronological Classics: James P. Johnson 1921-1928, Piano Superstars, Three Golden Legends - Erroll Garner, Kenny Drew, James P. Johnson, Harlem Hotcha (Live), The Fabulous Jazz Collection, Carnival for Three (Mono Version), Daylight Savin Blues, Blue Moods, Sex & Charleston, Jazz Chronicles: James P. Johnson, Vol. 2, The Chronological Classics: James P. Johnson 1943-1944, Man Alive, Contrary to Accepted, James P. Johnson Selected Hits Vol. 4, James P. Johnson Selected Hits Vol. 3, Sunny Sounds, Early Harlem Piano, Nostalgic Memories-The Very Best Of James P Johnson-Vol. 32, Secret Meeting, The Town Hall Concerts Five and Six, Empress Of The Blues Volume 2: 1926-1933 (CD B, 1928-1929), The Chronological Classics: James P. Johnson 1938-1942, The Essential Tracks (Remastered), Your Music Around Me, Bound To Be a Winner, Explore, Days To Come, The Best of James P. Johnson, Top 50 Classics - The Very Best James P. Johnson, Favorite Song


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#Fact
1 Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
2 Taught piano to Fats Waller
3 Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1980.
4 Johnson's most famous composition was the "Charleston", which may be the most famous song from the "Roaring Twenties".


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Magic in the Moonlight 2014 writer: "Charleston"
Dancing on Ice 2014 TV Series writer - 2 episodes
Dancing with the Stars 2009-2013 TV Series writer - 4 episodes
Boardwalk Empire 2010-2013 TV Series writer - 2 episodes
The Great Gatsby 2013 "Bang Bang" / music: "Bang Bang" / writer: "Bang Bang"
Family Guy 2012 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Tom Sawyer 2011 writer: "If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight"
Midnight in Paris 2011 writer: "Charleston"
Whatever Works 2009 writer: "If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight"
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2008 writer: "If I Could Be with You One Hour Tonight"
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2008 TV Series music - 1 episode
Bookends 2008 music: "If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight"
Carlston za Ognjenku 2008 writer: "Original Charleston"
The War 2007 TV Mini-Series documentary music - 1 episode
The Brothers Warner 2007 TV Movie documentary writer: "Harlem Strut" - as James Price Johnson
Perfect Stranger 2007 writer: "Don't Cry Baby" - as James Johnson
Does Your Soul Have a Cold? 2007 Documentary writer: "Charleston"
Southland Tales 2006 writer: "If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight" - as Jimmy Johnson
Cold Case 2006 TV Series music - 1 episode
Aquamarine 2006 writer: "Don't Cry Baby" - as Jimmy Johnson
Alex & Emma 2003 writer: "Charleston"
The Simpsons 2002 TV Series 1 episode
The Majestic 2001 writer: "Blue Note Boogie"
The Cat's Meow 2001 music: "Charleston" 1923
The Green Mile 1999 writer: "Old Fashioned Love"
Sweet and Lowdown 1999 music: "Old Fashioned Love" 1923
Histeria! 1999 TV Series music - 1 episode
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch 1998 TV Series music - 1 episode
Rebecca 1997 TV Mini-Series music: "Charleston" - uncredited
Cobb 1994 performer: "Bleeding Hearted Blues"
The House of Eliott 1992 TV Series music - 1 episode
Billy Bathgate 1991 music: "The Mule Walk"
Rambling Rose 1991 music: "IF I COULD BE WITH YOU ONE HOUR TONIGHT"
Tiny Toon Adventures 1990 TV Series music - 2 episodes
Pretty Woman 1990 writer: "You Don't Understand" - as Jimmie Johnson
Sahara 1983 writer: "Charleston" - uncredited
Zelig 1983 music: "Charleston" 1923
High Road to China 1983 writer: "Charleston" - uncredited
Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales 1982 music: "Charleston" - uncredited
The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie 1981 music: "Charleston" - uncredited
The Evil Dead 1981 music: "Charleston" - uncredited
American Pop 1981 writer: "Charleston" - as Jimmy Johnson
Love in a Cold Climate 1980 TV Mini-Series writer - 1 episode
The Lady in Red 1979 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Bugs Bunny's Valentine 1979 TV Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Agatha 1979 music: "Charleston" - uncredited
The Great Gatsby 1974 writer: "Charleston" - as Jimmy Johnson
The Brady Bunch 1973 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Our American Musical Heritage 1971 TV Series music - 1 episode
Petticoat Junction 1968 TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Mike Douglas Show 1965 TV Series music - 1 episode
The Patty Duke Show 1963 TV Series music - 1 episode
The Unmentionables 1963 Short music: "Charleston" - uncredited
Hazel 1962 TV Series music - 1 episode
Tender Is the Night 1962 music: "Charleston" - uncredited
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall 1958-1960 TV Series music - 2 episodes
The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond 1960 writer: "f I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight", "Charleston" - uncredited
Girl on the Run 1958 writer: "Don't Cry, Baby" - uncredited
The Naked and the Dead 1958 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Make Room for Daddy 1954-1958 TV Series music - 2 episodes
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet 1957 TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Helen Morgan Story 1957 music: "Charleston" - uncredited
The Joker Is Wild 1957 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
The Delinquents 1957 writer: "A Porter's Love Song to a Chambermaid"
Three Little Bops 1957 Short music: "Charleston"
Mister Roberts 1955 music: "IF I COULD BE WITH YOU ONE HOUR TONIGHT"
Battle Cry 1955 music: "Don't Cry Baby" - uncredited
South Sea Woman 1953 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
A Mouse Divided 1953 Short music: "Charleston" - uncredited
So You Want to Be a Musician 1953 Short music: "Charleston" - uncredited
Fool Coverage 1952 Short writer: "Keep Cool, Fool" - uncredited
Stop, You're Killing Me 1952 music: "If I Could Be with You", "Charleston" - uncredited
I Love Lucy 1952 TV Series music - 1 episode
Tree for Two 1952 Short music: "Charleston" - uncredited
Cracked Quack 1952 Short music: "Charleston"
Has Anybody Seen My Gal 1952 lyrics: "The Charleston" - uncredited / music: "The Charleston" - uncredited
Belles on Their Toes 1952 music: "Charleston"
So You Want to Be a Bachelor 1951 Short music: "Charleston" - uncredited
Storm Warning 1951 music: "Keep Cool, Fool" - uncredited
The Jackpot 1950 music: "Charleston"
Tea for Two 1950 music: "Charleston" - as Jimmy Johnson
Young Man with a Horn 1950 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Thieves' Highway 1949 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Slattery's Hurricane 1949 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
You're My Everything 1949 music: "Charleston" - uncredited
Flamingo Road 1949 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Whiplash 1948 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Hare Splitter 1948 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Nothing But the Tooth 1948 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Winter Meeting 1948 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Hollywood Bound 1947 music: "Old Fashioned Love"
Doggone Cats 1947 Short writer: "Keep Cool, Fool" - uncredited
A Pest in the House 1947 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Stan Kenton and His Orchestra 1947 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
The Man I Love 1947 music: "If I Could Be with You"
It's a Wonderful Life 1946 music: "Charleston" 1923 - uncredited
Margie 1946 music: "Charleston"
Roughly Speaking 1945 music: "Charleston" - uncredited
Draftee Daffy 1945 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Stage Door Cartoon 1944 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Cavalcade of Dance 1943 Short music: "Charleston" 1923 - uncredited
Stormy Weather 1943 music: "There's No Two Ways About Love" 1943 - uncredited
Vaudeville Days 1942 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Casablanca 1942 music: "If I Could Be with You" 1926 - uncredited
A Tale of Two Kitties 1942 Short writer: "Keep Cool, Fool" - uncredited
Hobby Horse-Laffs 1942 Short music: "Keep Cool, Fool" - uncredited
Porky's Cafe 1942 Short music: "Keep Cool, Fool" - uncredited
The Bug Parade 1941 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Snow Time for Comedy 1941 Short writer: "Keep Cool, Fool" - uncredited
We, the Animals - Squeak! 1941 Short music: "Keep Cool, Fool" - uncredited
Penny Serenade 1941 music: "Charleston" 1923 - uncredited
Goofy Groceries 1941 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Wacky Wildlife 1940 Short music: "If I Could Be With You
Night Train to Munich 1940 music: "If I Could Be with You One Hour Tonight"
Slap Happy Pappy 1940 Short music: "If I Could Be With You" - uncredited
The Roaring Twenties 1939 music: "If I Could Be with You" 1926 - uncredited
Orrin Tucker and His Orchestra 1938 Short music: "I Need Lovin'"
The Big Broadcast of 1938 1938 music: "CHARLESTON" 1925 - uncredited
Little Jack Little & Orchestra 1936 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
Klondike Annie 1936 writer: "Mister Deep Blue Sea"
George White's 1935 Scandals 1935 music: "Charleston" 1923 - uncredited
Mills Blue Rhythm Band 1934 Short music: "There Goes My Headache" - uncredited
Dancing Lady 1933 writer: "Alabama Swing" - uncredited
The Emperor Jones 1933 performer: "St. Louis Blues" 1914 - uncredited
Ladies They Talk About 1933 music: "If I Could Be with You" 1926 - uncredited
Lawyer Man 1932 music: "If I Could Be with You" 1926 - uncredited
Three on a Match 1932 music: "Charleston" 1923 - uncredited
Goopy Geer 1932 Short music: "I Need Lovin'" 1926 - uncredited
Taxi! 1932 music: "I Need Lovin'" 1926 - uncredited
Big Business Girl 1931 music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
One Good Turn 1930 Short "If I Could Be with You"
Henry Santry and His Soldiers of Fortune 1930 Short music: "If I Could Be with You" - uncredited
The Show of Shows 1929 music: "Your Love Is All I Crave" - uncredited

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Emperor Jones 1933 Pianist (uncredited)
St. Louis Blues 1929 Short Piano Player (uncredited)

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Yamekraw 1930 Short initially uncredited

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Crumb 1994 Documentary composer: song "Harlem Strut"

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
When Lightning Strikes 1992 TV Movie documentary special thanks

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Jazz 2001 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself
When Lightning Strikes 1992 TV Movie documentary Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Before Stonewall 1984 Documentary In Speakeasy (uncredited)

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