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James P. Johnson: The Original

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James P. didn’t live as long as his pals Eubie Blake and Willie “the Lion” Smith, who had enough rebirths to be well-remembered today, but Johnson is an even greater figure both in terms of his more developed piano style and his greater importance as a composer and musical thinker. It’s ironic that today his most often-performed song is probably the Bob Wills version of “Old Fashioned Love” that Western Swingers know.

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