James P. Johnson - WWI and WWII Draft Registration Cards

As part of my project to publish as much documentation on the early stride piano masters as possible -and therefore to make it available for future research-, these are James P. Johnson's Registration Cards for both the First and the Second World Wars, dated June 5, 1917 and April 27, 1942, when James P. was 23 and 48 years old.


The Lion at Hampton, 1968

Willie The Lion Smith's 20-minute performance at the Hampton Jazz Festival (Hampton, VA) on Jun 27, 1968, is now available at Wolfgang's Vault. Signing up and logging in -which costs nothing- is required to listen to The Lion roaring, though payment is necessary for a download.

From the concert summary at Wolfgang's Vault:

"After chatting for a while, Smith opens this Hampton Jazz Festival performance with his infectious theme song, "Relaxin'". Next up is the autobiographical vocal number "Music on My Mind", which also happens to be the title of his memoirs published in 1964. The Lion then leaps into the tongue-twisting swing-era vocal number, "Nagasaki", and closes out his set with a medley of instrumentals, beginning with James P. Johnson's "Charleston" and continuing with Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'", Luckey Roberts' "Moonlight Cocktail", Duke Ellington's "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady", and culminating with his own show-stopping number, "Finger Buster"."


James P. Johnson's grave

James Price Johnson

Feb. 1, 1894 - Nov. 17 1955

Beloved Husband, Father and Grandfather

Master American Pianist and Composer

The Dean of Jazz Pianists

As reported in my posts from September 17, 2009 and October 7, 2009 posts, the James P. Johnson Foundation, the Johnson family and Smalls Club organized an all day “rent party” to raise money to buy a monument to commemorate this great musician who so far rested in peace in an unmarked grave in Maspeth, Queens, Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

The event met with success and this is the proof (thanks to Maspeth on www.findagrave.com):