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Johnson, Budd, 1972 September 12

 Item — Multiple Containers

Scope and Contents

Writer, arranger, and saxophonist Budd Johnson spoke to the Black Experience in the Arts course only one time on 9/12/1972 (2015-0002/RR10 reel 1) (2015-0002/RR11 reel 2).

From his lecture, Johnson spoke about learning the piano at age 8 and later convinced his mother to buy him a saxophone. As a child, Johnson performed in musical groups such as the Blue Moon Chasers.

Johnson's participation in the Chasers was just the beginning of his journeymen career as a touring musician. Johnson would go on to join the ensembles of Jesse Stone, George E. Lee, and Louis Armstrong. Johnson was often a member of Earl Kenneth "Fatha" Hines' band and was part of the jazz ambassador tour of 1966 that toured Russia and Ukraine. Johnson expressed to students the wonder and excitement felt when he and the band spent 4 nights playing in Kiev at a packed 10,000 seat arena full of screaming fans.


  • 1972 September 12

Conditions Governing Access

Links to digitized content are included in the finding aid.

Biographical / Historical

Albert J. "Budd" Johnson III (December 14, 1910 – October 20, 1984) was an American jazz saxophonist and clarinetist who worked extensively with, among others, Ben Webster, Benny Goodman, Big Joe Turner, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Billie Holiday and, especially, Earl Hines. Johnson initially played drums and piano before switching to tenor saxophone. In the 1920s, he performed in Texas and parts of the Midwest, working with Jesse Stone among others. Johnson had his recording debut while working with Louis Armstrong's band (1932-1933), but he is more known for his work, over many years, with the Earl Hines Orchestra (1932-1942). He had a distinctive tone of his own), Johnson had brief stints with Gus Arnheim (1937) and the bands of Fletcher and Horace Henderson (1938) between his periods with Hines. It is contended that he and Billy Eckstine, Hines' long-term collaborator, led Hines to hire "modernists" in the birth of bebop, which came largely out of the Hines band. Johnson was also an early figure in the bebop era, doing sessions with Coleman Hawkins in 1944. In the 1950s he led his own group, and did session work for Atlantic Records - he is the featured tenor saxophone soloist on Ruth Brown's hit Teardrops from My Eyes. In the mid-1960s, he began working and recording again with Hines. His association with Hines is his longest lasting and most significant. In 1975, he began working with the New York Jazz Repertory Orchestra. He was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1993.

He died of a heart attack in Kansas City at the age of 73.

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2 Reels (Magnetic tape audio recordings ) : RR 10 1 reel, 0:47:55; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 11 1 reel, 0:27:58; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester.

Language of Materials

From the Series: English

Existence and Location of Copies

Digitized recordings are available online.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US