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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


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

Lil Hardin-ArmstrongPiano
Louis ArmstrongCornet
Baby DoddsDrums
Johnny DoddsClarinet
Honore DutreyTrombone
Stump EvansC-Melody Saxophone
Bill JohnsonBass
King OliverCornet, Leader
Johnny St. CyrBanjo, Guitar


The site supplying most of the MP3 files to the Red Hot Jazz Archive pages on is down and many links no longer work. You may find the original and download all of the original RealMedia .ra music files on the WayBackMachine at