Johnny Hartman sang in the mid-1940s in the Orchestra of pianist Earl Hines, for two years he was a member of the big band trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's. He sang on several plates of Gillespie's group, but also made recordings under his own name, for Regent and Savoy. In 1949 and 1951 he sang in the studio with the trio of Erroll Garner. In 1956 came his first feature on Bethlehem Records, record the songs were accompanied by the Quartet of Howard McGhee. The album was not a commercial success, but that was offset by his record with Coltrane, "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman" from 1963. The singer still knew Coltrane from his time with Gillespie. The saxophonist approached Hartman via the producer of the record, Bob Thiele. The six songs, including "Lush Life", were recorded in one day. The record became an instant jazz classic with different 'final' versions. The album gave wings to hartmans career, but he would not be known to the general public. In 1980 he took his latest record, "Once in Every Life", for which he received a Grammynomination. Music of this album was in 1995 by Director Clint Eastwood used in his film "The Bridges of Madison County".
Hartman in 1986 was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.
- First, Lasting and Always, Savoy, 1947
- Songs from the Heart, Bethlehem, 1955
- All of Me, Bethlehem, 1956
- Johnny Hartman Sings ...Just You, Just Me, Savoy, 1957
- And I Thought About You, Roost, 1959
- John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, Impulse!, 1963
- I Just Dropped By to Say Hello, Impulse!, 1963
- The Voice That Is!, Impulse!, 1965
- hartman Meets Hino, 1972
- Once in Every Life, Bee Hive, 1980