Born January 10, 1915 in Darlington, South Carolina.
Died: February 9, 1977 in New York City, New York.
Johnson enjoyed the peak of his musical career as the leader of his big band, the Buddy Johnson Orchestra. With up to 17 members – including Johnson’s sister Ella Johnson as vocalist – the group was a favorite at New York’s Savoy Ballroom in the 1940s and 1950s, prompting Johnson to be nicknamed “King of the Savoy”. As composer and arranger, Johnson helped shape the distinctive sound of his band, fusing big band jazz with blues and creating sound that helped pave the way for Rhythm & Blues. He penned a number of chart-topping songs and recorded extensively with Decca Records, Mercury, and Roulette.