Earl Johnson

Decades: 1990s 2000s


Robert Earl Johnson, 24 August 1886, Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA, d. 31 May 1965, Georgia, USA. A favourite among students of old times roots and country music, fiddler Earl Johnson came from a region famed for string bands like the Georgia Yellowhammers and the Skillet Lickers. He learned to play the violin under his father’s tuition, later enrolling on a music correspondence course before forming a trio with his brother and sister (guitar and banjo). After both siblings died in 1923 he took engagements supporting noted local star Fiddlin’ John Carson. Johnson also worked on records by Arthur Tanner (brother of Gid Tanner of the Skillet Lickers) when they recorded for Paramount Records in New York. His first own-name releases were for OKeh Records. He made his first 78 rpm on 21 February 1927, backed by his Dixie Entertainers ? Emmett Bankston on banjo and Byrd Moore on guitar. Further sessions followed in Atlanta, resulting in recordings of standards...

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