The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Dink Johnson

Oliver "Dink" Johnson (October 28, 1892 - November 29, 1954) was an early jazz pianist, clarinetist, and drummer.

Dink Johson was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, younger brother of bass player/bandleader Bill Johnson. He worked around Mississippi and New Orleans before moving to the western United States in the early 1910s. He played around Nevada and California, often with his brother Bill. Most prominently he played with the Original Creole Orchestra (mostly on drums).

He made his first recordings in 1922 on clarinet with Kid Ory's Band.

For many years he was based in Los Angeles, California where he led a band in the 1920s and later ran a bar.

He made more recordings in the 1940s and 1950s, mostly on piano, although also doing some "One man band" recordings, playing all three of his instruments through over dubbing.

Dink Johnson's piano style was influenced by Jelly Roll Morton (his brother-in-law); his clarinet playing by Larry Shields. Johnson also wrote tunes, including The Crooked Blues (recorded by King Oliver) and So Different Blues.

Dink Johnson died in Portland, Oregon.

Last updated: 10-23-2005 17:45:21
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46