An early on jazz drummer of some renown, Wells is most beneficial known for his use clarinetist Jimmy Noone in Chicago through the ‘20s and ‘30s. Like additional dark Chicago players of that time period, Wells influenced people from the city’s famed white jazz community. In his autobiography, Actually the Blues, clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow relates how he and drummer Gene Krupa would sit down for hours defeating out the rhythms of Zutty Singleton and Johnny Wells “until my hands swole dual.” While operating as a vocalist, dancer, and comedian at Chicago’s Apex Golf club, Wells was employed to displace Ollie Forces as drummer/vocalist with Noone, whose music group was after that in residence in the golf club. Wells used Bert Hall’s Orchestra in 1927, after that came back to Noone’s music group, performing and documenting using the clarinetist in to the ‘30s. Wells later on moved to NY and used Joe Sullivan, amongst others.