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George Washington Johnson (c.1855? - 1914) was a singer and pioneer sound recording artist, the first African-American star of the phonograph.

Johnson was born in slavery on a plantation in Virginia. About 1889 Johnson was whistling on the Staten Island Ferry in New York City when he was heard by someone connected with the infant recording industry (one story says that it was Thomas A. Edison himself). Johnson was invited to record his loud raggy whistling on wax phonograph cylinders… read more

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