This chapter discusses Bunk Johnson’s claim to have played with Buddy Bolden. Jazz scholars have questioned this particularly in relation to Johnson’s date of birth. Using genealogical information, this chapter concludes that Bunk Johnson was born within a year of December 1884 and that he attended Beulah Baptist Church School. It is likely from this that Johnson was a little older than Joe “King” Oliver. This is consistent with having played with Bolden after 1902 and the opening of Johnson and Lincoln Parks in New Orleans. The Jazzmen interview notes confirm that it was Willy Cornish (Bolden’s trombonist) who told the Jazzmen authors that Johnson played with Bolden. Because Bunk Johnson definitely played with Bolden, this has profound implications for Johnson recorded legacy recreating the music of Buddy Bolden.
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