Lonnie Johnson

Musican Summary

LonnieJohnsonByRussellLee1941CropMy wife has recently been listening to the The Complete Folkways Recordings of Lonnie Johnson. She seems to think we have a competition to discover the best recordings on eMusic.com each month and is quite proud of herself with the Lonnie Johnson recordings. I knew the name Lonnie Johnson but admit I hadn’t listened to many of his recordings and had not researched his history. This month my wife wins.

I had previously written about Eddie Lang and how he was one of the first guitarists to play single line solos. It turns out that Eddie Lang made some recordings with Lonnie Johnson and Lonnie probably deserves the credit for introducing single line solos. Eddie Lang, a white man, used the name Blind Willie Dunn for his recordings with Johnson. 1

I am listing Lonnie Johnson as a blues guitarist but he played jazz as well and performed with Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five and Duke Ellington. As to blues musicians, Robert Johnson is said to have sometimes introduced himself as on of the Johnson Boys – Like Lonnie. 2

Online bios, in addition to the first two footnotes can be found at Wikipedia 3 and Jazz.com. 4

Listen to Lonnie Johnson play in the following videos. No one was combining singing with single line guitar solos when he started. His lines are great and suggest ideas which T-Bone Walker, B.B. King and others later used. My wife also likes his voice. Hope you enjoy him as well.

Lonnie Johnson introduced by Sonny Boy Williamson.

Hope you noticed Lonnie’s Kay electric guitar.

Folkways Recordings of Lonnie Johnson. Above from Amazom.com. Below from iTunes.

Or you can join eMusic and get Lonnie Johnson MP3s the same place my wife and I did.
Get a $5.00 Music Credit at eMusic.com!

Related Posts

Mose Allison, 89 Years Old, dies.
views since 2016-11-26 = 32
Mose Allison wasn't a guitar player. He played piano, sang and played jazz and blues and wrote great lyrics. He turned 89 on November 10th, 2016, five...
Guitar Spotting at the Grammys and Guitar Economic...
views since 2016-11-26 = 126
I watched this years Grammy awards and spent part of my time doing what I always do when watching guitar players on television. I played guitar sp...
Malvina Reynolds
views since 2016-11-26 = 62
Little Boxes made of Ticky-Tocky "Little Boxes" (made of Ticky-Tocky) is one of the most popular and famous songs written by Malvina Reynolds. Malv...
Four Slide Guitar Tunes with roots and variations
views since 2016-11-26 = 71
Dust My Broom The first slide guitar riff that many guitarists learn is the opening riff to "Dust My Broom" by Elmore James. He took the older ...


  1. Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson
  2. Lonnie Johnson Bio
  3. Lonnie Johnson at Wikipedia
  4. Lonnie Johnson at Jazz.com

Leave a Reply