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Dick Johnson

Born: December 1, 1925 | Died: January 10, 2010    Primary Instrument: Clarinet

Dick Johnson

Dick Johnson, perhaps best known for his long stint as frontman for the Artie Shaw Orchestra. Born and grew up in the Brockton, Mass area as part of a musical family. He got his professional start as a musician during a stint with the U.S. Navy in 1944-1946. Johnson served with the navy band on the USS Pasadena during WWII. He often credited his stint in the Navy for kicking off his career in jazz.

After the war, Johnson toured with the big bands of Charlie Spivak and Buddy Morrow. Eventually, after several years on the road, he settled in his hometown of Brockton, Mass. It was there in Brockton where he and close friend, Lou Colombo formed a jazz sextet. The group lasted 10 years, but the friendship and musical kinship lasted for the rest of his life....
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1956: Music for Swinging Moderns
(EmArcy Records)
1957: Most Likely
(Riverside Records)
with Dave McKenna, Wilbur Ware, Philly Joe Jones 1979: Dick Johnson Plays Alto Sax & Flute & Soprano Sax & Clarinet
(Concord)
with Dave McKenna, Bob Maize, Jake Hanna 1980: Spider's Blues
(Concord)
with Dave McKenna 1981: Swing Shift
(Concord) 2004: Artie's Choice! And the Naturals 2006: Star Dust & Beyond: A Tribute to Artie Shaw

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