Johnson, Bill (actually, William K.)

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Johnson, Bill (actually, William K.)

Johnson, Bill (actually, William K.), jazz banjo player, guitarist, singer; b. Lexington, Ky, Dec. 13, 1893; d. there, Oct. 1955. Johnson played with local bands in and around Louisville. He traveled to N.Y. with the Dixie Ramblers in late 1926, played with drummer George Howe’s Band (1927), and subsequently with Luis Russell from 1927-32 (also recorded with King Oliver). Johnson was occasionally featured on vocals (“You Might Get Better,” Henry Allen Orch., 1930). He worked with Fess Williams 1933-34, and continued to work on guitar throughout the 1930s. Johnson left full-time music in the 1940s and moved back to Lexington. He lost his life in a fire that destroyed his home.

—John Chilton, Who’s Who of Jazz /Lewis Porter

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Johnson, Bill (actually, William K.)

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