Johnson an unsung hero of German Band - Republic-Times | News

Johnson an unsung hero of German Band

By on July 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Pictured is longtime Waterloo German Band member Barbara Johnson aboard the band’s famous parade float. (submitted photo)

It has been said that behind every great man there is a great woman. 

That is certainly the case for Waterloo German Band leader  Harry Wolf, whose longtime companion Barbara Johnson has proved invaluable to the band over the years.

“It’s hard to say how Barb helps the band most,” Wolf wrote in “My Life in Stories,” his new autobiography. “She plays wonderful accordion and is great onstage – always smiling and always ready for antics. But she’s been just as helpful on the business side.” 

Johnson joined the band after receiving a letter from Wolf in November 1989 asking for an accordion player. 

He sent letters to 15 different accordionists, not knowing Johnson would impact his life for the next 29 years. 

Johnson began taking accordion lessons when she was 7 years old. She also learned the organ and piano. 

Prior to receiving Wolf’s letter, Johnson had played in another band, though earlier that year she began playing solo. 

She had never heard of Wolf or the Waterloo German Band, but she applied anyway…>>>

Read the rest of this article in the July 11, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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James Moss