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Pete Johnson

Pete Johnson

Pete Johnson


There is more than one artist called Pete Johnson. (1) Peter (Pete) Johnson (March 25, 1904 - March 23, 1967) was an American jazz and especially boogie-woogie pianist. Pete Johnson was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He died in Meyer Hospital, Buffalo, NY. He began his musical career in 1922 as a drummer in Kansas City, Missouri. From 1926 to 1938 he worked as a pianist, often accompanying Big Joe Turner. In 1938 he and Turner appeared in the From Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall. Read more on Last.fm
There is more than one artist called Pete Johnson. (1) Peter (Pete) Johnson (March 25, 1904 - March 23, 1967) was an American jazz and especially boogie-woogie pianist. Pete Johnson was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He died in Meyer Hospital, Buffalo, NY. He began his musical career in 1922 as a drummer in Kansas City, Missouri. From 1926 to 1938 he worked as a pianist, often accompanying Big Joe Turner. In 1938 he and Turner appeared in the From Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall.

This concert started a boogie-woogie craze, and Turner and two other performers at the concert, Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons, worked together afterwards at Café Society for a long time; they also toured and recorded together. The song, "Roll 'Em, Pete", featuring Turner on vocals and Johnson on piano, was one of the first rock and roll records. Another self-referential title was their "Johnson and Turner Blues". In 1949, he also wrote and recorded "Rocket 88 Boogie", a two-sided instrumental not to be confused with the Ike Turner 1951 hit "Rocket 88". In the late '40s, Johnson recorded an early concept album Pete's House Warmin' , in which he starts out playing alone, supposedly in new empty house, and is joined there by J. C.

Higgenbotham, J.C. Heard, and other Kansas City players. Each has a solo single backed by Pete and then the whole group plays a jam session together. On this album Johnson shows his considerable command of stride piano and his ability to work with a group. In 1950 he moved to Buffalo, New York but, despite problems with his health, continued to tour and record, notably with Jimmy Rushing, Turner, and Jazz at the Philharmonic. A stroke in 1958 left him partly paralyzed.

His last years were troubled by illness and poverty. Johnson made one final appearance at Hammond's January 1967 "Spirituals to Swing" concert, playing the right hand on a version of "Roll 'Em Pete", two months before his death. He died in Meyer Hospital, Buffalo, New York in March 1967, at the age of 62. (2) Pete Johnson is a British blues harmonica player who worked in The Netherlands in the 1980's. See http://www.discogs.com/Pete-Johnson-Blowin-The-Family-Jewels/release/2772826 Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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