Conrad O. Johnson was a legendary music composer and former director of the Kashmere Stage Band in Houston, Texas. Also called “Thunder Soul,” the award-winning band was founded by Johnson at the predominately black Kashmere High School. Under Johnson’s direction, the school band recorded eight albums and became national champions from the 1960’s to 1978. The band traveled to Europe and Japan to spread their sound across the world.
Conrad “Prof” Johnson graduated from Wiley College and was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. He worked with the Count Basie Orchestra and was asked to join Erskine Hawkins’ band, but turned it down because he just wanted to teach music. After attending an Otis Redding concert in 1967, he knew what kind of music he wanted to teach.
Johnson wrote the songs for the band, including “Zero Point,” “Lost Love” and “Kashmere”. He owned Kram Records, which was the label for each of the eight albums and three LPs recorded by the Kashmere Stage Band. The band was voted “Best Stage Band in the Nation” in 1972.
Johnson taught students from 1941 to 1978. He was inducted into the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 2000. His compositions for the Kashmere Band were sampled on a Handsome Boy Modeling School album. DJ Shadow’s track, “Holy Calamity (Bear Witness II)”, samples “Kashmere” from the album Kashmere Stage Band Plays Originals.
In 2008, Director Mark Landsman filmed a documentary about the legendary band called “Thunder Soul,” named after the band’s third album. As part of the final cuts, thirty of the former band members reunited and reminisced for two concert performances, still seeking the approval of Conrad “Prof” Johnson, who was then 92 years old. The film, which was narrated by Academy Award winner and executive producer, Jamie Foxx, was released in 2010. It was nominated for five major documentary awards (including 2 NAACP Image Awards) and won a Lone Star State award at the SXSW Festival.
Conrad Johnson passed away in 2008, hours after the final reunion concert was performed in his honor. In his memoriam, the Conrad Johnson Music and Fine Arts Foundation at Texas Southern University was established.
Listen to music by the Kashmere Stage Band below.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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