Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 24 March '04, Kansas City MO; d 23 March '67, Buffalo NY) Pianist. Worked on drums with other pianists '22--6; played piano '26--38 in KC clubs. To NYC '38 with Joe Turner to do a spot on Benny Goodman radio show; appeared at Apollo Theatre; returned to KC but back in NYC Dec. in John Hammond's Spirituals to Swing concert. Long residence at Cafe Society with Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons, three great boogie-woogie pianists at the height of the fad. Worked there (and on West Coast '47--8) in duo with Ammons; also occasionally in duo with Lewis. Lived in Buffalo from '50; toured USA with Piano Parade package '52, worked with Lewis again that year; with Turner, then Jimmy Rushing '55; JATP tour of Europe '58 (tour also incl. Turner), Newport Jazz Festival '58; suffered from ill health but worked occasionally. Book The Pete Johnson Story '65 edited by Hans J. Mauerer. LPs: Pete's Blues on Savoy; Boogie Woogie Mood on MCA ('40--44 reissues); with Turner on EmArcy and on Atlantic, Rushing on Columbia; tracks on various albums incl. Spirituals To Swing on Vanguard; two CDs on Classics covering '38--41; Central Avenue Boogie on Delmark ('47 Apollo tracks), King Of Boogie on Milan incl. '39 Blue Note trio tracks.