Despite popular opinion, Bunk Johnson was not born in 1979 but rather most likely 1885 (however researchers do not rule out 1888 or 1889). He claimed the earlier date as to make it look like he was one of the early creators of jazz.
Bunk Johnson grew up at 5406 Constance Street (near Octavia Street) in New Orleans, Louisiana. The home that stands there today *might* be the original house as photo comparisons look very close. However the garage addition to the left is not part of the original home.
One of the reasons that Bunk stepped away from music for nearly a decade was do to his failing dental health. So when he returned to music, Bunk got new teeth from Leonard Bechet, famous jazz musician Sidney Bechet´s brother, who was a dentist.
Bunk Johnson lived and died at 638 Franklin Street, New Iberia, Louisiana in 1949. Some years later that address was changed to 638 Malain Street. The original house has since been demolished.
At the time of his death, his widow Maude requested that Life magazine cover the funeral of her husband. The magazine agreed upon one condition – that Johnson be photographed in his casket with his trumpet and be buried with the valuable instrument. The widow Johnson agreed, only to pull the horn out of his cold, dead hands just before they closed the lid without anybody looking.
Final Resting Place:
St. Edward Cemetery
East Dale Street
New Iberia, Louisiana, 70560
Grave Location:Section NE, Row 14, Plot 28
Grave Location Description
Located at the corner of French Street and Dale Street near downtown New Iberia, as you enter from any of the three entrances walk to the center of the cemetery to the large cross at the intersection of the paths. As you are facing the cross, turn to your left and Bunk Johnson’s small marker can be found six space down and three rows into the section, between the large tombs.
Grave Location GPS30.00049221439178, -91.82939798508488
Read More About Bunk Johnson:
- Published Obituary
- Wikipedia Entry
- The Swedish Bunk Johnson Society
- The Swedish Bunk Johnson Society - Four Johnson Homes in New Iberia
- The elusive hunt for Bunk Johnson's birthdate
- Syncopated Times - Bunk Johnson
- Bunk Johnson homepage
- Stanford University - The San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection
- New Iberia Library - Bunk Johnson Collection
- 64 Parishes - Bunk Johnson Biography
- A jazz celebration for Bunk Johnson's birthday
Videos Featuring Bunk Johnson:
popular name: Dimebag Darrell
date_of_death: December 8, 2004
cause_of_death: Multiple gunshot wounds to the head
best_know_for: As the cofounder with his brother Vinnie of Pantera and Damageplan, Dimebag Darrell was not only one of the most influential heavy metal guitarist but considered one of the greatest guitarist of modern times. Sadly his fame extended to his brutal death while performing onstage at the Alrosa Villa Nightclub in Columbus, Ohio.
popular name: Johnny Ace
date_of_death: December 25, 1954
cause_of_death: Accidental gunshot to the head
best_know_for: A popular R&B singer with a string of eight hits in a row including "Cross My Heart" and "Please Forgive Me", he blew his brains out on Christmas Day between sets after telling everyone ‘It’s okay! Gun’s not loaded… see?’ Interestingly enough, "Pledging My Love" was a posthumous R&B number 1 hit for 10 weeks beginning February 12, 1955, thus Johnny Ace became the first artist to reach the Billboard pop charts only after death.
Carl Lee Cunningham
popular name: Carl Lee Cunningham
date_of_death: December 10, 1967
cause_of_death: Plane crash
best_know_for: As a member of the Bar-Kays, Carl played drums for Otis Redding and died in the plane crash that took the life of Otis Redding, Phalon Jones, Carl Cunningham, Ronnie Caldwell, guitarist Jimmy King and valet Matthew Kelly. Only Ben Cauley survived the crash.