Heworked in and around Chicago from April until June Johnson played concerts at the N. Town Hall in autumn , played gigs at Caravan Ballroom, N. He made his last recordings in December , then returned to his home in New Iberia. In late he suffered a stroke which paralyzed his left arm; for the rest of his life he was a semi-invalid. Hillman, B. Sonnier and W. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. July 9, Retrieved July 09, from Encyclopedia.
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Bunk Johnson Life Times by Christopher Hillman
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Continue shopping. He worked as a field labourer and a truck driver and appeared to be lost forever to jazz. But a semi-miracle happened.
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In Bunk was rediscovered by Bill Russell and Fred Ramsey, writers who used him as a source of information for their book Jazzmen. When that important work was published in , it generated a great deal of interest in the long lost pioneer. Money was raised to buy Bunk a set of teeth and a new trumpet. He worked as a music teacher during and began seriously playing again in Getting stronger as a musician during the next year, Johnson spent time in San Francisco in , including recording one of his finest sets with the wartime version of the Yerba Buena Jazz Band.
Bunk recorded frequently during and was both hailed and damned by listeners. Some of his recordings particularly his final set and the session with Yerba Buena Jazz Band show him as a vital link to early jazz, while others especially ones made when was drunk have Bunk sounding quite incompetent and amateurish. Strangely enough, Johnson did not completely satisfy the more purist New Orleans fans, because his playing was not unaffected by the style of Louis Armstrong and other later players, and he often preferred to play current pop songs and jazzed versions of rages rather than the blues and early standards favored by some of his supporters.
His rediscovery triggered a search for deeper understanding of jazz origins by scholars and researchers. Drob authored a biography, A Gentle Man and his Music now out-of-print. But Louis soon retracted his endorsement for unclear reasons, reiterating that he was a King Oliver man.
It seems to have bothered Bunk, and has been grist for his critics. Bunk was complaining to Sidney about Louis Armstrong denying that Bunk had taught him. Here was somebody claiming to be an eyewitness.
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But Bunk was like pitcher Satchel Paige: he had a sack full of tricks, and you never knew what he would throw next.
Related Bunk Johnson: His Life and Times (Jazz life & times)
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