His band starting playing around 1895, in New Orleans parades and dances, and eventually rose to become one of the most popular bands in the city. In 1907 his health deteriorated and he was committed to a mental institution where he spent the remainder of his life.
Trombonist Frankie Dusen took over the Bolden Band and renamed it the Eagle Band and they continued to be very popular in New Orleans until around 1917. Bolden made no recordings, but was immortalized in the Jazz standard “Buddy Bolden’s Blues” (I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say) which is based on Bolden’s theme song “Funky Butt”. Several early Jazz musicians, like Sidney Bechet (as a child musician) and Bunk Johnson, apparently played in Bolden’s bands occasionally.
|Read: Three Books About Buddy Bolden|
|In Search of Buddy Bolden by Donald M. Marquis, Louisiana State University Press, 1978|
|Buddy Bolden And The Last Days Of Storyville by Danny Barker, Continuum, 1998|
|Buddy Bolden Says by E.W. Russell, Candence Jazz Books, 2000|
|The Loudest Trumpet by Daniel Hardie, iUniverse Books, 2000|
The Syncopated Times prepared a full issues worth of coverage of Buddy Bolden to coincide with the release of a movie about him in 2019. See all of it at The Real Buddy Bolden