Johnny Bothwell

Photo of Johnny Bothwell
  • Born

    May 23, 1917
    Gary, Indiana
  • Died


Alto sax­o­phon­ist Johnny Bothwell worked var­i­ously for Paul Jordan, Bob Chester, Gene Krupa, Woody Herman, Sonny Dunham, and Tommy Dorsey in the early 1940s be­fore find­ing a home in Boyd Raeburns new out­fit in 1944. Bothwell served as one of Raeburn’s fea­tured soloists un­til 1945 when a dis­pute over di­rec­tion and ma­te­r­ial forced him to leave. He briefly worked with Krupa again be­fore form­ing a short-lived sex­tet.

In 1946, Bothwell put to­gether his own band. The new group recorded on the Signature la­bel and fea­tured ex-Rae­burn singers Don Darcy and Claire Hogan, Bothwell’s wife, as vo­cal­ists. Bothwell had pre­vi­ously recorded un­der his own name in 1944 us­ing mem­bers of Raeburn’s or­ches­tra.

Featuring ad­ven­tur­ous jazz along the lines of Charlie Ventura and Stan Kenton, Bothwell’s band strug­gled for com­mer­cial ac­cep­tance, and by early 1948 he had called it quits. He re­mained ac­tive for the next cou­ple of years, putting to­gether small groups and or­ches­tras for var­i­ous oc­ca­sions, but by 1950 had left the mu­sic busi­ness al­to­gether. He moved to Connecticut where he be­came a sales­man for General Electric. He later op­er­ated his own pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness in Florida. Bothwell suf­fered a stroke in the mid-1980s and passed away in 1995.


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  • My Old Flame
    Johnny Bothwell (Don Darcy), Signature (1946)
  • I Left My Heart in Mississippi
    Johnny Bothwell (Don Darcy), Signature (1946)
  • I'll Close My Eyes
    Johnny Bothwell (Don Darcy), Signature (1947)

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