The Bands of Ken Snakehips Johnson


Ken Johnson in Oh Daddy
Ken Johnson in Oh Daddy

The Emperors Of Jazz (Hammersmith 1936).

The Emperors of Jazz (aka The Jamaican Emperors) were formed by trumpeter Leslie Thompson. He asked Ken Johnson to join the band as 'dummy bandleader' because he looked good and could front the band.

Abe 'Pops' Clare (string bass), Yorke de Souza (piano), Reg Amore (trombone), Freddie Greenslade (trombone), Arthur Dibben (trumpet), Leslie Hutchinson (trumpet), Leslie Thompson (trumpet), Ken Johnson, Winnie Cooper (vocals), Louis Stephenson (alto saxophone), Bertie King (tenor saxophone), Robert Mumford-Taylor (alto saxophone), Tom Wilson (drums) and Joe Deniz (guitar).

Ken Johnson and His Rhythm Swingers (The Old Florida Club May 1937)

Ken Johnson took over Thompson's band, and continued the residency at The Old Florida Club. The line-up includes the musicians that Johnson brought over from the West Indies to replace members that left after the split with Thompson. Amongst them was saxophonist and clarinet player Carl Barriteau.

Ken Johnson, Tom Wilson (drums), Carl Barriteau (alto saxophone), David Williams (alto and tenor saxophone), Dave Wilkins (trumpet), Wally Bowen (trumpet), Freddie Greenslade (trombone and trumpet), George Roberts (alto and tenor saxophone), Joe Deniz (guitar), Abe 'Pops' Clare (string bass), Claire Deniz (piano).

Ken Johnson and his West Indian Orchestra.

This line-up of the West Indian Orchestra featured on the Decca Recording Session of 22 September 1938.

Ken Johnson, Dave Wilkins (trumpet), Leslie "Jiver" Hutchinson (trumpet), Wally Bowen (trumpet), Lad Busby (trombone), Carl Barriteau (alto saxophone), Bertie King (clarinet/alto saxophone), George Roberts (alto and tenor saxophone), David Williams (alto and tenor saxophone), Errol Barrow (piano), Joe Deniz (guitar), Abe 'Pops' Clare (string bass), Tom Wilson (drums).


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