Skip to main content

Conrad O. Johnson Collection

Identifier: MSS 0039

Content Description

The Conrad O. Johnson Collection contains papers that highlight his career accomplishments. This collection evidences the life and legacy of the African American band and music director during the 1960s and the long-term impact of mentorship on youth. Includes funeral programs, newspaper clippings, event programs, promotion DVDs related to Kashmere Reunion Stage Band and Thunder Soul and posters.


  • 1991-2011
  • Majority of material found in 2008

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Conrad O. Johnson Collection must be obtained from African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Conrad O. Johnson was a musician, composer, and educator, and band director in Houston during mid-twentieth century.

Johnson attended Jack Yates High School, where he played saxophone in the band. After graduation he played in various clubs around Houston, which continued through the 1950s. He attended the Houston College for Negroes and graduated from Wylie College in Marshall, Texas. Johnson started his 37-year teaching career in public schools as the band director in Carnack, Texas. He later taught jazz at Booker T. Washington High School until 1969 when he became music director at Kashmere High School in north Houston and created the Kashmere High School Stage Band.

High School stage bands competitions were popular during the early 1970s. Johnson, known as “Prof” broke the color barrier and helped his students enter the competitions by rearranging the band’s music to include funk arrangements and introduced showmanship. As director of the Kashmere High School Stage band won 42 out of the 46 contests he competed I from 1969 to 1977. The band traveled around Europe, Japan and the United States. In 1972, they won Most Outstanding Stage Band in the nation at the All-American High School Stage Band Festival. The band recorded eight albums featuring 20 of Johnson’s composition. Conrad Johnson retired in 1978 but continued to teach privately and hold workshops. In 2000 he was inducted into the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame. In 2008, the Kashmere Stage Band performed to reunion concerts in “Prof’s” honor shortly before his death on February 3, 2008.

Taken from collection materials and The Handbook of Texas Online


.5 Linear Feet (1)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into two series by format and subject.

Series I: Printed Materials

Series II: Thunder Soul

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Ronald Johnson, August 2010

Related Materials

Additional materials are held by the Houston Metropolitan Research Center in the following collections:

MSS 0259 Black Music in Houston Collections

MSS 322 Arnett Cobb Collection (jazz)

MSS 0350 “Sonny Boy” Franklin Collection 1975

Processing Information

Processed by Sheena Wilson December 2018
MSS 0039 Conrad O. Johnson Collection
An inventory of his records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Sheena Wilson
December, 2, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Gregory School Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002