- Carl Johnson
(b Denver, March 28, 1890; d Doylestown, PA, Dec 29, 1967). American jazz and dance-band leader. He played the viola in the Denver SO from 1907 and in the San Francisco SO from 1914. During World War I he led a 40-piece navy band, playing march tunes by day and show music by night. Sensing new dimensions for popular music in the transition from ragtime to jazz, he organized a dance band in San Francisco in 1919, and later moved to Los Angeles and Atlantic City, New Jersey, before settling in New York in 1920. There he soon became the best-known American bandleader, particularly with his recording of Whispering and Japanese Sandman (1920, Vic.), which sold more than a million copies. By the early 1920s his lush orchestral style was widely copied on countless bandstands at home and abroad. He toured the British Isles in 1923 and Europe in ...