Portrait of Bunk Johnson
American music historian, William Russell, played a major role in rediscovering and resurrecting the trumpeter's career. Pictured here is Bunk Johnson performing at the Stuyvesant Casino in New York in 1946.
Bunk Johnson & his band
Bunk Johnson, pictured here holding a cornet, was a prominent jazz musician in New Orleans in the 1940s.
Louis Armstrong & Bunk Johnson
Bunk Johnson, an early twentieth-century New Orleans trumpet player, served as a source of musical inspiration for Louis Armstrong. Johnson lost his teeth and trumpet in 1931. He worked as a laborer until 1942, when fellow musicians and writers, including Armstrong, took up a collection to pay for dentures and a new trumpet.
Bunk Johnson with his trumpet
Born in late-nineteenth century New Orleans, Bunk Johnson made his first recording in 1942. Because Johnson sometimes lied about his experiences, much of his life, including his birthday, remains mysterious. He may, for example, have played with Buddy Bolden.