from New York, NY
February 18, 1904 - April 26, 1977 (age 73)
One of the top big band drummers of the 1920's and 30's (and influenced a bit by Kaiser Marshall), Walter Johnson was a supportive and consistently swinging player. He worked with Freddy Johnson (1924), Bobby Brown, Elmer Snowden (off and on during 1925-28) and Te Roy Williams (1927) but became best-known for his playing with Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra (1929-34 and also 1936-37 and 1941-42). Other swing era associations included the big bands of Sam Wooding (1934-35), LeRoy Smith (1935), Lucky Millinder (1938-39), Claude Hopkins (1939), Edgar Hayes (1940) and Coleman Hawkins. After his third stint with Henderson ended, Johnson freelanced for the remainder of his career, worked outside of music (as a bank guard), often playing with Tab Smith during the 1944-54 period and appearing with a variety of swing and mainstream combos into the 1960's. Walter Johnson never led his own record date but he recorded frequently during his prime years, most notably with Henderson. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
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