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Herman "H." Johnson[1] (born 1937 or 1938)[1] is an African-american radio personality in Atlanta, Georgia. He is known for his weekly program "Jazz Classics" which he has hosted since 1978 on WABE, North Georgia's local NPR affiliate.[2][1]

H. Johnson
ResidenceAtlanta, Georgia, United States
OccupationRadio Personality, Musician
Years active1978 – present
Employer90.1 WABE



Johnson grew up in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Count Basie was a family friend who would drop by and play his mother's piano.[1] When his parents amicably divorced, Johnson moved to Atlanta with his stepfather.[1]

He graduated from Atlanta's L. J. Price High School in 1957.[3] He also attended Morehouse College and Atlanta Area Tech.[3] While in the U.S. Army he received NCO training.[3]

Since his teenage years, he has worked at various Atlanta radio stations including WAOK, WIGO, WRFG, WCLK,[1] and WXAP.[3]

His program "Jazz Classics" airs each Saturday night on WABE from 9 pm to 2 am, as it has since 1978.[3] The program always begins with the Father Tom Vaughn version of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and usually ends with ends with a version of "I'll Be Seeing You."[3] At midnight he plays a weekly selection of "just the right version" of "'Round Midnight."[1]

In the fall of 2013 the station introduced a second program "Blues Classics" on Friday evenings.[2]

When not on the air he operated a gift shop in southwest Atlanta.[3] He lives with his wife Marilyn in Mableton, Georgia, she accompanies him to the studio in Atlanta when he does his program each Saturday.[1]


In 2001 Johnson was one of the first six recipients of the Paul Mitchell Community Jazz Awards, presented by local station WRFG.[4]

On June 21, 2010 a tribute to Johnson was held at Atlanta jazz club Café 290 in honor of his 30 years on the air at WABE.[1] The Atlanta City Council declared the day "H. Johnson Day" in his honor.[5] Coverage of the event aired on local PBS affiliate WPBA in the fall of 2010.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Emerson, Bo (June 18, 2010). "'Jazz Classics' DJ spins the platters that matter". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. pp. E1, E3 of June 20, 2010 issue. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "H. Johnson - Host, Blues Classics and Jazz Classics". WABE. Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Walton, A. Scott (March 20, 2001). "Take the 'H.' Train". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. pp. F1, F2. Archived from the original on December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018 – via
  4. ^ Rozzi, James (June 23, 2001). "Jazz awards honor 5 Atlantans, fest sponsor". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. C2. Archived from the original on December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018 – via
  5. ^ Ross, Jon (October 26, 2010). "Ready to hear something groovy: Meet H. Johnson, celebrating 30 years of WABE's "Jazz Classics"". ArtsAtl. Archived from the original on December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  6. ^ "This is Atlanta - A Jazz Classic (A Tribute to H. Johnson)". WPBA (TV). October 27, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2018.

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