Johnny Hartman Day
July 3, 1923 – September 15, 1983
The Melodic Voice of Timeless Jazz
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Singer Johnny Hartman was born on July 3, 1923, in Houma, Louisiana.
Hartman studied under the renowned Walter Dyett at Chicago’s DuSable High School.
He went solo in 1950 after brief stints with Earl Hines, Dizzy Gillespie, and Erroll Garner. The balladeer achieved major success after collaborating with jazz titan John Coltrane on 1963’s “John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.”
Hartman’s newfound success led to a series of 1960s LPs on the Impulse! label.
For his musical abilities, he received a scholarship to the Chicago Musical College.
Johnny Hartman’s professional career began after World War II during September 1946 when he won a singing contest in which the prize was a one-week engagement with Earl “Fatha” Hines.
Hines, sensing his potential and impressed by his talent, quickly hired him for the next year but made his debut recording in February 1947 with Marl Young.
After the Hines Orchestra disbanded, he toured with Dizzy Gillespie, followed by a brief stint with pianist Erroll Garner, before ultimately pursuing a solo career in 1950.
He released a string of singles accompanied by different orchestras, finally releasing his first LP, “Songs from the Heart,” in 1955.
In 1963, Johnny Hartman got a career-altering offer to collaborate on an album from his longtime admirer John Coltrane, resulting in the LP of ballads titled simply “John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.”
As work began to get scarce for balladeers like Hartman in the 1970s, he found his niche in the cocktail lounges of New York.
Continuing to record for small labels, Hartman made numerous festival, radio, and television appearances prior to his September 1983 death from lung cancer.
Jazz singer Johnny Hartman makes a 1980 TV appearance accompanied by the “Loonis McGlohon Trio.”
Johnny Hartman, vocals
Loonis McGlohon, piano
David Powell, bass
Bill Stowell, drums