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James Price Johnson
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Birth: Feb. 1, 1894
New Brunswick
Middlesex County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Nov. 17, 1955
Jamaica
Queens County
New York, USA

Jazz pianist and composer. Important transitional figure between ragtime and jazz piano styles. His most popular songs that he wrote include "The Charleston," "Old Fashioned Love," and "If I Could Be with You One Hour Tonight." He was a highly influential African American jazz pianist who also wrote popular songs and composed classical works. Bringing together elements of ragtime, blues, African American religious music, and classical themes, Johnson originated a piano style that dominated New York City's African American musical world during the early decades of the twentieth century. In his 37-year career, he also wrote 19 symphonic works, scored 11 stage musicals, and contributed to numerous stage productions. As a boy, he studied Classical music and Ragtime. His family moved to New York City in 1908. There he began working in New York clubs as early as 1913 after dropping out of High School and by his late teens he was performing in saloons, in dance halls, and at parties in a black community on Manhattan's West Side. He quickly became recognized as the pacesetter. He eventually also became known as the best piano player on the East Coast and was widely utilized as an accompanist on over 400 recordings and from 1916 on, produced hundreds of piano rolls under his own name. He backed up many of the Classic Blues singers of the 1920s, such as Ida Cox, Ethel Waters and Bessie Smith. During the '20s (starting in 1921), he began to record, he was the nightly star at Harlem rent parties (accompanied by Fats Waller and Willie "The Lion" Smith) and he wrote some of his most famous compositions during this period. For the 1923 Broadway show Running Wild (one of his dozen scores), he composed "The Charleston" and "Old Fashioned Love," his earlier piano feature "Carolina Shout" became the test piece for other pianists, and some of his other songs included "If I Could Be with You One Hour Tonight" and "A Porter's Love Song to a Chambermaid." In addition to his solo recordings, he led some hot combos on records and recorded with Perry Bradford and Clarence Williams; he also shared the spotlight with Fats Waller on a few occasions. Because he was very interested in writing longer works, he(who had composed "Yamekraw" in 1927) spent much of the '30s working on such pieces as "Harlem Symphony," "Symphony in Brown," and a blues opera. Unfortunately much of this music has been lost through the years. He, who was only semi-active as a pianist throughout much of the '30s, started recording again in 1939, often sat in with Eddie Condon, and was active in the '40s despite some minor strokes. After suffering a serious stroke in 1951, he spent his remaining years bedridden at his home until his death in a New York Hospital in 1955. Since his death most of his recordings have been reissued on CD. Among his honors and recognitions include inductions in the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1970), Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame (1973), Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame (1980) and the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame (2007). Also the U.S. Post Office issued a James P. Johnson commemorative postage stamp in 1995. Unmarked since his death, his resting place will be re-consecrated with a headstone paid for with funds raised by an event put together by the James P. Johnson Foundation and others.
 
 
Burial:
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Maspeth
Queens County
New York, USA
 
Created by: Curtis Jackson
Record added: Jan 31, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 47379076
James Price Johnson
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
James Price Johnson
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
James Price Johnson
Added by: Maspeth
 
 
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- Lance
 Added: Jan. 8, 2014

- Props2u
 Added: Nov. 13, 2013

- Lone Wolf
 Added: Jul. 20, 2010
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