Johnny Warrington

Photo of Johnny Warrington

Johnny Warrington led a radio orchestra on Philadelphia station WCAU during the 1940s, taking over the spot once held by Jan Savitt before Savitt, for whom he had worked as an arranger, took his band national. Former Savitt singer Bon Bon, who had returned to Philadelphia, joined Warrington in late 1943, and soon after Warrington began to tour regionally. Bon Bon remained with the band until summer 1944 when he left soon after being denied the chance to sing at Atlantic City’s famous Steel Pier due to its policy of allowing only white performers on its stage. A young Gerry Mulligan briefly worked for Warrington, writing arrangements for the group in 1944.

During the 1950s, Warrington became a prolific arranger. Many modern-day big bands still use his arrangements.