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 him 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.