b. Francis Walter Johnson, 22 May 1927, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Among the pioneers of traditional jazz in Australia in the years after World War II, Johnson played vigorous trumpet in several bands before forming his own. The band’s popularity with audiences for live appearances, on radio and in record sales continued into the 50s. By the middle of the decade, however, like so many bands of its kind in Australia and elsewhere, it was severely challenged by changing tastes in popular music. Johnson folded the band but continued to play whenever opportunities presented themselves during succeeding decades.
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