One of the earliest Texas tenors, arranging boss of the Earl Hines Grand Terrace Orchestra, and pivotal swing-to-bop figure, Budd Johnson distributed his gifts through several eras of jazz. He was a major composer and arranger and a saxophonist whose style fit as comfortably into bebop as it did into swing.
Albert J. (Budd) Johnson was born in Dallas on December 14, 1910. His father was a choir director and cornetist who taught him piano at a young age. By Johnson's teenage years he had switched to drums and was playing with his brother, Keg Johnson, in bands around town. Eventually the two started their own group, the Moonlight Melody Six. They later joined Gene Coy's Amarillo-based band, the Happy Black Aces.
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