Monday, November 28, 2011

University of Pennsylvania Library: Online Exhibit on Francis B. Johnson (1792-1844), African American Musician

In April 2008 The University of Pennsylvania opened an exhibit entitled: "Francis Johnson: Music Master of Early Philadelphia," in the Eugene Ormandy Gallery on the 4th floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. An informative new Online Exhibit was posted November 22, 2011.

Francis B. "Frank" Johnson was an African American bugler, bandleader and composer who is featured at He was born on June 16, 1792, according to an Online Exhibit of the University of Pennsylvania Library:

The Online Exhibit includes the above picture of Francis B. Johnson, a copy of his baptismal record, and a copy of his entry in McElroy's Philadelphia Directory for 1837 as "Francis Johnson, musician" residing at "154 Pine Street."

Professor Dominique-René de Lerma,, has made his research on Francis B. Johnson available to along with the complete Works List for him. Prof. De Lerma begins: "Francis (or Frank) Johnson was the first major bandmaster in the U.S. It has long been thought he was born in Martinique, but it is now believed he was born in Philadelphia, known there as a professional musician by 1812, probably as a violinist."

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