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JOHNSON, Buddy.

The Great Entertaining Band of the Land – Buddy Johnson and his Orchestra,

featuring Arthur Prysock, Ella Johnson.

Published: New York: Gale Agency, n.d. c.1948

Stock code: 65418

Price: £150

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

Signed by Johnson next to his portrait. Born Woodrow Wilson Johnson in Darlington, South Carolina in 1915, Buddy Johnson was an influential jazz and New York blues pianist and bandleader, active from the 1930s through the 1960s, his style has been described as ” one of the important links between the Rhythm and Blues style and the swing era” (Big Bands Database). He was part of the Cotton Club Revue that was expelled from Germany in 1939, on his return forming a 9-piece orchestra, featuring his sister Ella on vocals. With this line-up he had a number of hits in the R & B charts, his most successful being “When My Man Comes Home” with Ella on vocals in 1944 and “They All Say I’m The Biggest Fool” with Arthur Prysock in 1946. In 1946 Johnson composed a Blues Concerto, which he performed at Carnegie Hall in 1948. His orchestra remained a major touring attraction through the late 1940s and early 1950s, and continued to record in the jump blues style. An attractive and unusual piece of jazz memorabilia.

Small two-colour printed – black and green on orange light card stock – poster/flyer (302 229 mm). Nicely designed piece of 40s jazz ephemera featuring a small “floating” portrait of Johnson and his name reversed out, orange on black, on the lid of a grand piano. Excellent.

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