Reference Entry

Johnson, J(ohn) Rosamond

Sandra Jean Graham

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print November 2013 |
Published online January 2014 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2256944

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(b Jacksonville, FL, Aug 11, 1873; d New York, NY, Nov 11, 1954). American composer, lyricist, vocalist, actor, theatrical director, and educator, brother of james weldon Johnson . He was born to James Johnson, a freeman from Virginia, and Helen Louise [née Dillett] Johnson, born free in Nassau, the Bahamas. His mother, a trained singer and educator, began teaching Johnson piano when he was four. From 1890 to 1896 Johnson studied music at the New England Conservatory. He then performed in John W. Isham’s Oriental America, which whetted his appetite for theater. After returning to Jacksonville (spring 1897), he taught music privately and was supervisor of music for Jacksonville public schools (1896–9). He was also choirmaster and organist at a large Baptist church and taught music at the Baptist Academy. Johnson’s earliest compositions, with his brother as lyricist, date from this time.

In summer 1899 the Johnson brothers went to New York hoping to get their operetta ...

Reference Entry.  1262 words. 

Subjects: Romantic Music ; Contemporary Music

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