Jazz Birthday

Don Redman

Don Redman

Don Redman was born July 29, 1900, in Piedmont, Mineral County, West Virginia. His parents were musical, so it was natural that he would take

Adrian Rollini cartoon

Adrian Rollini

Adrian Rollini was born in New York on June 28, 1903. Growing up in Larchmont, New York, Adrian proved to be a musical wunderkind; at

Irving Berlin Illustration by Artistgaryprice.com

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 23, 1888, in Tyumen, Siberia. Israel’s family emigrated to the United States when he was five years

Billy Holiday cartoon

Billie Holiday

Eleanora Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday, was born April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia, the daughter of Sarah Julia “Sadie” Fagan and Clarence Holiday. Much

Paul Whiteman

Paul Whiteman

Paul Samuel Whiteman was born in Denver, Colorado, on March 28, 1890. His father Wilberforce was director of music for Denver School District #2. Paul

Chick Webb

Chick Webb

William Henry “Chick” Webb was born February 10, 1905, in Baltimore, Maryland. From early childhood he was afflicted with tuberculosis of the spine. Owing to

Art Tatum

Art Tatum

Arthur Tatum, Jr. was born in Toledo, Ohio, on October 13, 1909. Art was severely visually impaired from birth; however, his parents were both accomplished

Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt was born January 23, 1910, in Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, into a Belgian family of Manouche Romani descent. Django grew up in Romani encampments near

Connee Boswell

Connee Boswell

Constance Foore Boswell was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 3, 1907. Raised in New Orleans, Connie (who later changed the spelling of her

Roland Bernard “Bunny” Berigan

Roland Bernard “Bunny” Berigan

Roland Bernard “Bunny” Berigan was born in Hilbert, Wisconsin, on November 2, 1908, and grew up in Fox Lake. Bunny had learned enough trumpet and

Lee Wiley

Lee Wiley

Lee Wiley was born October 9, 1908, in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. While still in grade school, she aspired to be a singer. Into her teens,

Willard Robison

Willard Robison

Illustration by Gary Price: Willard Robison was born in Shelbina, Missouri, on September 18, 1894. His country upbringing and exposure to religion had a profound

Louis Daniel Armstrong

Louis Daniel Armstrong

Louis Daniel Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana, according to baptismal records discovered in the mid-1980s. (Armstrong himself maintained that

Lemuel Eugene Austin

Lemuel Eugene Austin

Lemuel Eugene Lucas was born in Gainesville, Texas, on June 24, 1900. Early on, his mother Belle, divorced Eugene’s father, Nova Lucas. She shortly thereafter

Orie Frank Trumbauer

Orie Frank Trumbauer

Jazz Birthday of the Month Illustration by Gary Price Orie Frank Trumbauer was born on May 30, 1901, in Carbondale, Illinois. The family moved to

Charles Ellsworth “Pee Wee” Russell

Charles Ellsworth “Pee Wee” Russell

Charles Ellsworth “Pee Wee” Russell was born March 27, 1906, in Maplewood, Missouri. He spent his childhood in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he variously studied violin,

Mildred Bailey by ArtistGaryPrice.com

Mildred Bailey

Mildred Eleanor Rinker was born February 16, 1900 (according to researcher Albert Haim), in Tekoa, Washington. Her mother, Josephine, was a member of the Coeur

Bulee “Slim” Gaillard

Bulee “Slim” Gaillard

Bulee “Slim” Gaillard was born on January 4, 1916 in Detroit, Michigan—according to some sources. Other sources (including Gaillard himself) indicate that he was born

James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr.

James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr.

Illustration by Gary Price James Fletcher Hamilton Henderson, Jr., was born in Cuthbert, Georgia, on December 18, 1897. His parents were both educators, and his

Edward Otha South

Edward Otha South

Illustration by Gary Price Edward Otha South was born in Louisiana, Missouri, on November 27, 1904. His family relocated to Chicago while Eddie was a

Annette Hanshaw

Annette Hanshaw

Illustration by Gary Price: Catherine Annette Hanshaw was born October 18, 1901, in New York City. Born into a relatively well-to-do family, she sang at

Anderson Meade “Lux” Lewis

Anderson Meade “Lux” Lewis

Image faked in a pinch because of an email snafu. Read about it here. Gary Price will be back with a new illustration next month. Anderson

James Andrew Rushing

James Andrew Rushing

James Andrew Rushing was born in Oklahoma City on August 26, 1901. Born into a musical family, he studied music theory at Oklahoma City’s Douglass

Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams

Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams

Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams was born in Mobile, Alabama, on either July 24, 1908 (according to Encyclopedia Britannica) or July 10, 1911 (according to Wikipedia).

James Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford

James Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford

James Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford was born June 6, 1902 on a farm near Fulton, Mississippi. His family moved to Oklahoma City before Jimmie was a

Artie Shaw

Artie Shaw

Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, better known as Artie Shaw, was born on May 23, 1910 in New York City, but grew up in New Haven, Connecticut.

Red Norvo

Red Norvo

Joseph Kenneth Norville, aka Red Norvo, was born March 31, 1908 in Beardstown, Illinois. Young Kenneth had piano instruction in childhood, but his deep interest

James Hubert "Eubie" Blake

James Hubert “Eubie” Blake

James Hubert Blake was born February 7, 1887 in Baltimore, Maryland. Eubie was the sole surviving child of former slaves, and showed musical aptitude in

Gene Krupa

Gene Krupa

Eugene Bertram Krupa was born in Chicago on January 15, 1909, the youngest of Bartley (Bartłomiej) and Anna Oslowski Krupa’s nine children. Though Gene’s parents

Cab Calloway

Cab Calloway

Cabell Calloway III was born in Rochester, New York on Christmas Day, 1907. Cab’s family was upper middle class: his mother, Martha Eulalia Reed was

Coleman Randolph Hawkins

Coleman Randolph Hawkins

Coleman Randolph Hawkins was born in St. Joseph, Missouri on November 21, 1904. He played cello and piano from childhood but at the age of

George Gershwin

George Gershwin

George Gershwin was born September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York. Gershwin, whose name at birth was Jacob Gershwine, had a typically rough-and-tumble childhood, roughhousing

Jack Teagarden

Jack Teagarden

Weldon Leo “Jack” Teagarden was born in Vernon, Texas on August 20, 1905. Jack grew up in a musical household; his mother taught piano and

Charlie Christian

Charlie Christian

Charles Henry “Charlie” Christian was born in Bonham, Texas on July 29, 1916. After moving the family to Oklahoma City while Charlie was still a

Lena Horne

Lena Horne

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born in Brooklyn, NY on June 30, 1917. Lena’s background was solidly middle-class, and her paternal grandparents, Edwin and Cora

Fats Waller Ink Portrait

Fats Waller

Thomas Wright Waller, forever known to us as “Fats,” was born in New York City on May 21, 1904. The youngest child of a clergyman,

Bix Beiderbecke by Gary Price

Bix Beiderbecke

This month we celebrate cornetist, pianist, and composer Leon Bix Beiderbecke, born March 10, 1903. Reams of biographical prose, criticism, hearsay, and speculation have been

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Jane Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917 in Newport News, Virginia. Ella moved with her mother and stepfather to Yonkers, New York in

Duke Ellington illustration

Duke Ellington

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was born April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. “Duke” was a natural sobriquet for Ellington, whose dignified, easy grace reflected his

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith was born April 15, 1894, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her father died shortly after Bessie was born, and her mother, who worked as a

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