George Johnson

b. c.1900, USA, d. USA. Johnson played tenor saxophone as a member of the Wolverines, recording with them in 1924 alongside Bix Beiderbecke. Among many admirers of the band was Hoagy Carmichael, who expressed…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography

b. c.1900, USA, d. USA. Johnson played tenor saxophone as a member of the Wolverines, recording with them in 1924 alongside Bix Beiderbecke. Among many admirers of the band was Hoagy Carmichael, who expressed a preference for the Wolverines over the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, commenting that ‘the licks that Jimmy Hartwell, George Johnson and Bix [Beiderbecke] played were precise and beautiful.’ Speaking of the time when, largely on the strength of their records, the Wolverines were booked into New York, Johnson observed: ‘It was only natural that we in the band looked forward with great pride and no little doubt to our next job... because in less than a year as a definite organization, we were to play in a first-rate spot on Broadway... ’ A month after their New York debut Beiderbecke left the band and soon Johnson and most of the rest of the Wolverines were little more than an agreeable footnote in the history of jazz. (This musician should not be confused with the clarinettist/alto saxophonist George Johnson, whose career was spent largely in Europe.)