Dink Johnson

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Dink Johnson was nothing if not versatile, as one can judge from the three instruments that he played. Johnson started out working in New Orleans as a pianist in Storyville. He traveled to Los Angeles…
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Dink Johnson was nothing if not versatile, as one can judge from the three instruments that he played. Johnson started out working in New Orleans as a pianist in Storyville. He traveled to Los Angeles where he was a drummer for Bill Johnson's Creole Band in 1913. Johnson freelanced, played drums during Jelly Roll Morton's stay in California, and in 1922, recorded with Kid Ory's band (Spikes' Seven Pods of Pepper), on clarinet! Johnson spent much of his career in California, leading the Five Hounds of Jazz (later renamed the Los Angeles Six) and then mostly working as a solo pianist. Although he ran his own restaurant in Los Angeles, he remained active as a player into the late '40s. Johnson was much better-known locally then he was nationally, performing in an early style that fell between stride and ragtime. He recorded fairly extensively (mostly as a pianist) for American Music during 1946-1947, Euphonic (1948), and Nola (1950).