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Alonzo "Lonnie" Johnson was born in the year 1899 in New Orleans into a world of music. His family was full of musicians and he himself was studying guitar, violin, and piano as a child.

Lonnie once said "There was music all around us and in my family you'd better play something, even if you just banged on a tin can."

Lonnie kept up the family tradition. He’s recognized as a pioneer of jazz guitar, jazz violin, and for the single-string solo guitar styles we hear even today in blues, jazz, and rock. Many of his recordings came after Johnson won a blues contest with the prize being a recording contract with Okeh Records.

Profile Photo

Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, photographer

Library of Congress

Steppin' On The Blues


Released: 1990

Label: Colombia Records
Country: US