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Plas was born in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, about sixty miles north of New Orleans. As teens, Plas and brother Ray formed a band, the Johnson Brothers Combo, that played in and around New Orleans for a number of years. Plas left New Orleans in 1951 to go on the road with the Chartes Brown Blues Band. The road, a stint in the Army and a permanent move to California followed. Plas attended the Westlake School of Music in Los Angeles for a year and a half, when his studies were derailed by an overloaded schedule of record dates. He was brought to the attention of Johnny Otis, who immediately added him to his blues aggregation. Johnny then introduced Plas to Dave Cavanaugh, who held an influential A&R position at Capitol Records, where he soon became a regular session sideman and soloist during Capitol's halcyon years.

Plas has been one of the most well-known and sought-after musicians around the California studio scene. He joined "The Merv Griffin Show" band, led by Mort Lindsey, in 1970, where he remained for the next fifteen years, joining an all-star line-up which also included such prominent instrumentalists as Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Jake Hanna, Benny Powell, Jack Sheldon, Kai Winding and others.

Plas' recent recordings include his own albums, "Hot, Blue & Saxy," "Evening Delight" and "Christmas in Hollywood," and "Keep That Groove Going!" on Milestone, with Red Holloway. You may also find him around town occasionally with his own group, at jazz festivals around the world, and in the recording studios. Plas Johnson combines some of the best elements of jazz and blues and is admired and emulated by sax players worldwide.


Plas' discography reads like a Who's Who in the recording industry.

Jazz recordings



R & B

Rock & Roll




Check out Plas' movie and television work here.


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Last update: 17-Apr-2013