Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#716 (Week of 6/25/11 - 7/1/11) [Complete Upgrade on 10/7/17]

"Your Wig Is Gone"
by Cee Pee Johnson And Orchestra
on Black & White 758-B
released in 1946

Above: PHOTO FROM 1941: (L-R) Elmer Fain, Rex Stewart, Happy Johnson, Cee Pee Johnson, Slam Stewart, and Slim Gaillard in a promotional still shot for the 1941 movie "Hellzapoppin'." They played for the Lindy Hoppers in the movie.

Above: PHOTO FROM 1942: Clifford P. "Cee Pee" Johnson, in front with white suit, was a band leader, tom-tom drum player, singer and composer. Just behind Johnson is Buddy Banks (tenor sax).

Above: PHOTO FROM 1941: (L-R) Cee Pee Johnson, Buddy Collette (in back), Paul Robeson (in front), and musicians. Collette was a saxophonist in Johnson's band.

Above: (1) Honolulu Star Adviser, September 27, 1947: Cee Pee Johnson Band Booked At Civic Auditorium
Drums will roll to the haunting tempos of ancient chants when Cee Pee "Tom-Tom" Johnson and his world famous band comes to the Civic Auditorium Oct. 18. His Saturday night rhythm presentation will be followed by a swing concert at the Civic, the following Sunday afternoon.....

Born in French Algeria of French African parents, Johnson was inspired to music by the native drums of his Algerian village. He received his formal music training in America. During his island visit, he plans extensive study of Hawaiian chants and rythms to add to his outstanding collection of "solid beats."

Above: (2) Honolulu Star Adviser, October 5, 1947: You'll Say They're Terrific! You'll Say they're Sensational!
Cee Pee Johnson and his inimitable tom-tom rhythms are coming to Honolulu. He and his all-colored, all-star orchestra will be appearing at the Civic Auditorium Saturday night, October 18th for a dance and show. On October 19th this top aggregation will also present a swing concert at the Civic.

Cee Pee Johnson's orchestra is remarkable in that each member is a featured performer. It contains such men as the famous bass player, and one of the original members of the King Cole Trio, Red Callender. Another outstanding member of the group who is known the world over is Irving Ashbey, guitarist.

(NOTE: Both of the above columns featured the same picture.)

Above: (1) Honolulu Star Bulletin, September 22, 1947: Famed "Cee Pee" Johnson Coming With His Band For October Shows
All the way from Algeria to Hawaii is the route for "Cee Pee" Johnson, musician and orchestra conductor coming here in October. Johnson and his band will open at the Civic Auditorium October 18 playing for a public dance. On the following Sunday afternoon they will give a "swing concert." ....Johnson is considered a leading modern authority on barbaric percussion instruments. He bases his throbbing tom-tom rhythms on ancient chants.

He was born in French Algeria of French African parents. Until he came to America for his formal music training, he was strongly influenced by the native drums of the Algerian village in which he lived.

Johnson's career has been a long and full one of radio, night club and motion picture engagements. He has been a guest star on many nation-wide broadcasts including appearances on the Johnny Mercer and Bing Crosby shows as well as being interviewed and his records played by the top disc jokeys of the country. He and his band have filled return engagements at some of the best known night clubs in the states. He has appeared in such motion picture hits as Razor's Edge, The Jolson Story, The Desert Song, Citizen Kane, Hellzapoppin' and Tom, Dick And Harry.

Above: (Left Top) Long Beach Inquirer 11/16/41, (Left Middle) Los Angeles Times 2/3/44, (Left Bottom) Long Beach Inquirer 7/31/54, (Right) San Bernardino County Sun 3/7/47.

Above: (Left) Los Angeles Times 5/26/41, (Right) California Eagle 9/11/41.

Above: Still shot from 1940 movie "Mystery In Swing" of Cee Pee Johnson performing "Beat The Blues Away." In this movie, Johnson composed the two songs that featured him and, also, "You Can't Fool Yourself About Love," sung by Josephine Edwards And The Four Toppers, copyrighted in 1936 under the name "Clifton Byron Johnson."

Listen to "Beat The Blues Away" - Cee Pee Johnson - Mystery In Swing - 1940 (Windows Media Player).

Listen to "You Can't Fool Yourself About Love" - Josephine Edwards And The Four Toppers - Mystery In Swing - 1940 (Windows Media Player).

[The above record was provided by Dave Saviet.]
Above: Label image of Black & White 758 released either December 1945 or January 1946. This is the first of two consecutive releases by Cee Pee Johnson on the Black & White label. About two years later, T-Bone Walker would release "I Know Your Wig Is Gone," also on Black & White. Cee Pee also had releases on the Apollo (1946, 1949) and Atomic labels (1947).

Listen to this week's selection: [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

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