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King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band
King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band was one of the best and most important bands in early Jazz. The Creole Jazz Band was made up of the cream of New Orleans Hot Jazz musicians, featuring Baby Dodds on drums, Honore Dutrey on trombone, Bill Johnson on bass, Louis Armstrong on second cornet, Johnny Dodds on clarinet, Lil Hardin-Armstrong on piano, and the band’s leader, King Oliver on cornet. In 1922 Armstrong received a telegram from his mentor Joe Oliver, asking him to join the band in Chicago. He nervously accepted and went north to Chicago to play second cornet with the band at the Lincoln Gardens at 459 East 31st Street.

King Oliver Creole Jazz Band Chicago
King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band left to right: Baby Dodds, Honore Dutrey, Bill Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Lil Hardin-Armstrong and in the foreground King Oliver

The addition of Armstrong to this already powerful and popular band took the town by storm. Soon musicians and fans were flocking to hear Louis’ amazing cornet playing with the Oliver band. Louis met his second wife Lil Hardin who was the pianist in the Creole Jazz Band. Eventually it was she who urged Louis to leave the band so that he might live up to his true potential and not get stuck playing second to Oliver.

For high quality restored recordings of the band consider: King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band Off The Record: The Complete 1923 Jazz Recordings


Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
Alligator Hop
(King Oliver / Alphonse Picou)
10-3-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Canal Street Blues
(King Oliver / Louis Armstrong)
4-5-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Chimes Blues
(King Oliver)
4-5-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Dipper Mouth Blues
(King Oliver / Louis Armstrong)
4-6-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Froggie Moore
(Benjamin Spikes / John Spikes / Jelly Roll Morton)
4-6-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
I’m Going Away To Wear You Off My Mind
(Charlie Johnson / Warren Smith / Lloyd Smith)
4-5-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Just Gone
(King Oliver / Bill Johnson)
4-5-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Krooked Blues
(Benjamin Spikes / John Spikes / Bill Johnson)
10-3-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Mandy Lee Blues
(M. Bloom / Walter Melrose)
4-5-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Snake Rag
(King Oliver / A.J. Piron)
4-6-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Sugar Foot Stomp
(King Oliver / Louis Armstrong)
4-6-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Weather Bird Rag
(Louis Armstrong)
4-6-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Workingmans Blues
(King Oliver / Lil Hardin)
10-3-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett
Zulu’s Ball
(King Oliver / Robinson)
10-3-1923 Richmond, Indiana Gennett

King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band

Artist Instrument
Lil Hardin-Armstrong Piano
Louis Armstrong Cornet
Baby Dodds Drums
Johnny Dodds Clarinet
Honore Dutrey Trombone
Stump Evans C-Melody Saxophone
Bill Johnson Bass
King Oliver Cornet, Leader
Johnny St. Cyr Banjo, Guitar was a pioneering website during the "Information wants to be Free" era of the 1990s. In that spirit we are recovering the lost data from the now defunct site and sharing it with you.
Most of the music in the archive is in the form of MP3s hosted on or the French servers of where this music is all in the public domain.
Files unavailable from those sources we host ourselves. They were made from original 78 RPM records in the hands of private collectors in the 1990s who contributed to the original They were hosted as .ra files originally and we have converted them into the more modern MP3 format. They are of inferior quality to what is available commercially and are intended for reference purposes only. In some cases a Real Audio (.ra) file from will download. Don't be scared! Those files will play in many music programs, but not Windows Media Player.

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