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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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