Red Hot Musicians

Virginia Liston (1890-1932)

Virginia Liston (1890-1932)

Virginia Liston (c. 1890 – June 1932) would most likely be barely remembered today if she had not sung on a Clarence Williams Blue Five record

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Margaret Johnson (?-?)

Margaret Johnson (?-?)

Very little is known about the life of Margaret Johnson. She was very active on the vaudeville circuit in the early 1920s and is known

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Clarence Williams: Profiles in Jazz

Clarence Williams (1898-1965)

Clarence Williams (October 6, 1898 or October 8, 1893 – November 6, 1965) was both an artist and an entrepreneur. Highly energetic and adept at

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ClaraSmith

Clara Smith (1894-1935)

Little is known about Clara Smith’s (March 13, 1894 – February 2, 1935) early life other that that she was from Spartanburg, South Carolina. She

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Trixie Smith (1895-1943)

Trixie Smith (1895-1943)

Trixie Smith was born in Atlanta, Georgia and is reported to have studied at Selma University in Alabama. Sometime around 1915 she moved north to

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Fats Waller (1904-1943)

Fats Waller (1904-1943)

Fats Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) was the son of a preacher and learned to play the organ in church with his

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James Price Johnson (1891-1955)

James Price Johnson (1891-1955)

James P. Johnson was an important transitional figure between ragtime and jazz piano styles. His style became known as Stride. As a boy, Johnson studied

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The Russell Family’s Legacy of Jazz: Luis Russell, Carline Ray, & Catherine Russell

Luis Russell (1902-1963)

Luis Russell (August 5, 1902 – December 11, 1963) was a native of Panama, but after winning $3000 in a lottery in 1919, he moved

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Hociel Thomas (1904-1952)

Hociel Thomas (1904-1952)

Hociel Thomas (July 10, 1904 – August 22, 1952) was the daughter of pioneering blues and boogie woogie pianist George W. Thomas Jr., and the

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Katherine Henderson

Katherine Henderson (1909-?)

Katherine Henderson was born St. Louis, Missouri on June 23, 1909. She got her start in show business as a small child working in minstrel

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Eva Taylor (1895-1977)

Eva Taylor (1895-1977)

Eva Taylor (January 22, 1895 — October 31, 1977) was a talented entertainer and Blues singer and was one of the first African-American singers to

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Sara-Martin

Sara Martin (1884-1955)

Sara Martin (June 18, 1884 – May 24, 1955) began her career as a vaudeville singer around 1915 in Illinois. In 1922 she was signed

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Lizzie Miles (1895-1963)

Lizzie Miles (1895-1963)

Lizzie Miles (March 31, 1895 – March 17, 1963) was born on Bourbon Street and she was singing with the New Orleans Jazz bands of King

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Gene Krupa

Gene Krupa (1909-1973)

As a teenager in Chicago Gene Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973)was studying drums when he discovered a group of young white jazz

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Ben Selvin (1898-1980)

Ben Selvin (1898-1980)

Originally a violinist, Ben Selvin (March 5, 1898 – July 15, 1980) probably made more records than any other bandleader of the 78 rpm era,

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Ida Cox (1888-1967)

Ida Cox (1888-1967)

Ida Cox (February 26, 1888 or 1896 – November 10, 1967) sang in church choirs as a child in Georgia. She ran away from home

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Eddie Peabody (1902-1970)

Eddie Peabody (1902-1970)

Eddie Peabody (February 19, 1902 – November 7, 1970), the “King of the banjo”, was not only a superb banjoist but also a great showman

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Mary Johnson (1900-1970)

Mary Johnson (1900-1970)

Blues singer Mary Johnson (March 29, 1898 or 1900 – July 20, 1983) got her start in show business as a teenager in St. Louis.

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Lonnie Johnson in Chicago, 1941

Lonnie Johnson (1890-1970)

Lonnie Johnson (February 8, 1899 – June 16, 1970)was a pioneering Blues and Jazz guitarist and banjoist. He started playing in cafes in New Orleans

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Alberta Hunter (1895-1984)

Alberta Hunter (1895-1984)

At age twelve Alberta Hunter (April 1, 1895 – October 17, 1984) ran away from her hometown of Memphis to go to Chicago to become

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Jimmy_durante_1935

Jimmy Durante (1893-1980)

Before Jimmy Durante (February 10, 1893 – January 29, 1980) became one of the most famous and lovable entertainers of the Twentieth Century, he was

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Jasper Taylor (1894-1964)

Jasper Taylor (1894-1964)

Jasper Taylor (January 1, 1894-November 7, 1964) was an early Jazz percussionist. He left his home Texas as a teenager in 1912 playing drums with

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Pinetop Smith (1904-1929)

Pinetop Smith (1904-1929)

Clarence “Pine Top” Smith (June 11, 1904 – March 15, 1929) was one of the earliest pianists to recorded a boogie-woogie” piano solo. His 1928

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Dolly Kay

Dolly Kay (1900?-1982)

Dolly Kay (12 June 1900? – 26 August 1982) was a vaudeville and cabaret singer who started performing sometime around 1920 on the Orpheum curcuit

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Fletcher Henderson

Fletcher Henderson (1897-1952)

Fletcher Henderson (December 18, 1897 – December 29, 1952) led the most commercially successful of the African-American Jazz bands of the 1920s. The smooth sound

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Junie Cobb (1896-1970)

Junie Cobb (1896-1970)

Junie Cobb could play many instruments, but was best on reed instruments and piano. He began as pianist in Johnny Dunn’s Band as a teenager , then

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Fate Marable

Fate Marable (1890-1947)

Fate Marable (December 2, 1890 – January 16, 1947) is a very important figure in the early history of Jazz. The bands he led on

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Billy Murray Emerson 1919

Billy Murray (1877-1954)

Billy Murray (May 25, 1877 – August 17, 1954) , known in his heyday as “The Denver Nightingale,” was one of America’s best-selling recording artists

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Rosa Henderson

Rosa Henderson (1896-1968)

Rosa Henderson (November 24, 1896 – April 6, 1968) got her start in show business working in carnivals. In 1918 she married Douglas “Slim” Henderson

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Bob Fuller Clarinet

Bob Fuller (1898-?)

Little is known about the biographical details of Bob Fuller’s life, but he was a very prolific sideman throughout the early and mid-1920s in the

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Lucille Hegamin (1894-1970)

Lucille Hegamin (1894-1970)

Lucille Hegamin (November 29, 1894 – March 1, 1970) was the second African-American Blues singer to release a record in 1920, just few a months

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Loyd Scott and his Orchestra

Lloyd Scott and his Orchestra

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company Happy Hour Blues (1) (Lloyd Scott / Don Frye) 1-10-1927 New York, New York Victor unissued Happy Hour Blues (2) (Lloyd

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Cecil Scott's Symphonic Syncopators

Cecil Scott (1905-1964)

Reedman Cecil Scott (November 22, 1905 – January 5, 1964) and his older brother Lloyd (born 8-21-1902), who played drums, came out of the relatively

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Boyd Senter (1898-1982)

Boyd Senter (1898-1982)

In the autumn of 1965, I had the great pleasure of hearing by letter from the man who in the late 1920s was billed as

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Frankie Trumbauer (1901-1956)

Frankie Trumbauer (1901-1956)

Frankie Trumbauer‘s (May 30, 1901 – June 11, 1956) accomplishments as a Jazz musician have been overshadowed by the role he played in Bix Beiderbecke’s career.

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Abe Lyman

Abe Lyman (1899-1957)

Drummer Abe Lyman, born Abraham Simon in Chicago (August 4, 1897 – October 23, 1957), led an orchestra that was successful at the Ambassador Hotel

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Nick LaRocca

Nick LaRocca (1889-1961)

Nick La Rocca (April 11, 1889 – February 22, 1961) claimed to have invented Jazz and often complained that African-American musicians have been given too

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Ray Lopez with Brown's Band From Dixieland

Ray Lopez (1889-1979)

Like most early Jazz musicians from New Orleans Ray Lopez got his start playing in street parades. Around 1906 he was playing in Papa Jack Laine’s Reliance

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Coleman Hawkins

Coleman Hawkins (1904-1969)

Coleman Hawkins (November 21, 1904 – May 19, 1969) was the first great saxophonist of Jazz. As a child he was a gifted musician. In

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Lee Morse (1897-1954)

Lee Morse (1897-1954)

Lee Morse (November 30, 1897 – December 16, 1954) was a very popular recording artist, songwriter and actress of the 1920s and early 1930s. She

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Tommy Dorsey

Tommy Dorsey (1905-1956)

Tommy Dorsey (November 19, 1905 – November 26, 1956) was Jimmy’s younger brother and the more temperamental of the two. He was generally blamed for the

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Sippie Wallace (1898-1986)

Sippie Wallace (1898-1986)

Beulah “Sippie” Thomas (November 1, 1898 – November 1, 1986) grew up in Houston, Texas where she sang and played the piano in her father’s

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Eddie Condon 1905-1973

Eddie Condon (1905-1973)

Eddie Condon (November 16, 1905 – August 4, 1973) was one of the gang of young white Chicago jazz musicians in the 1920s. He started

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Mezz Mezzrow

Mezz Mezzrow (1899-1972)

Although he was a decent clarinetist and saxophonist, Mezz Mezzrow (November 9, 1899 – August 5, 1972) is remembered today primarily for his autobiography “Really

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Erskine Tate's Vendome Orchestra

Erskine Tate (1901-1975)

Erskine Tate (January 14, 1895-December 17, 1978, the original RHJ Archive had the dates wrong) was a violinist and leader of a band that played

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Harry Reser

Harry Reser (1896-1965)

Harry Reser (January 17, 1896 – September 27, 1965) was perhaps the greatest banjoist of the 1920s if not the greatest banjoist of all time.

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Wilbur C. Sweatman (1882-1961)

Wilbur C. Sweatman (1882-1961)

Wilbur Sweatman‘s (February 7, 1882 – March 9, 1961) musical career reads like the history of African-Americans in popular music. He got his professional start

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Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra

Bennie Moten (1894-1935)

Pianist and bandleader, Bennie Moten (November 13, 1894 – April 2, 1935) helped to establish what is called the Kansas City Jazz style. In 1922

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Frank Signorelli (1901-1975)

Frank Signorelli (1901-1975)

Pianist Frank Signorelli (May 24, 1901 – December 9, 1975) started the band the Original Memphis Five with Phil Napoleon in 1917. It was one of the most

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Joe Venuti's Blue Four/Five/Six

Joe Venuti (1903-1978)

Joe Venuti (September 16, 1903 – August 14, 1978) was the first great violinist of Jazz. The music he made with Eddie Lang would later be

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Arthur Schutt (1902-1965)

Arthur Schutt (1902-1965)

Arthur Schutt (November 21, 1902 – January 28, 1965) began his professional music career in 1915, accompanying silent movies on the piano. In 1918 he

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Jimmy Yancey (1901-1951)

Jimmy Yancey (1901-1951)

Jimmy Yancey (February 20, 1894, 1895,or 1901 – September 17, 1951) was a native of Chicago and learned to play piano from his elder brother,

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Edmonia Henderson

Edmonia Henderson

Edmonia Henderson (c. 1898 or 1900 – February 17, 1947) was an American classic female blues singer. She was active as a recording artist in the

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Victoria Spivey (1908-1976)

Victoria Spivey (1908-1976)

Victoria Spivey  (October 15, 1906 – October 3, 1976) got her start in music at age twelve when she began playing piano in a movie

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Carl Kress (1907-1965)

Carl Kress (1907-1965)

Carl Kress (October 20, 1907 – June 10, 1965), along with Eddie Lang, can be considered THE founding father of jazz guitar. While Lang pioneered

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Alphonso Trent

Alphonso Trent (1905-1959)

Pianist and band leader Alphonso Trent was born October 24, 1905 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He led one of the most influential territory bands operating

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ethel-waters

Ethel Waters (1896-1977)

Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977) was one of the most popular African-American singers and actresses of the 1920s. She moved to

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Edna Hicks (1895-1925)

Edna Hicks (1895-1925)

Blues singer Edna Hicks (October 14, 1891 or 1895 – August 16, 1925) was born in New Orleans and was the half-sister of Lizzie Miles and

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Lee Collins

Lee Collins (1901-1960)

Lee Collins (October 17, 1901 – July 3, 1960) got his start on the trumpet playing with brass bands in New Orleans as a teenager.

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Jean Goldkette, William P. Gottlieb's office, New York

Jean Goldkette (1899-1962)

Jean Goldkette  (March 18, 1893 – March 24, 1962) emigrated from France to the United States in 1911. He was a classical piano player. Jean

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Ruth Etting and Annette Hanshaw: Profiles in Jazz

Annette Hanshaw (1901-1985)

Annette Hanshaw (October 18, 1901 – March 13, 1985) was a popular singer and radio star of the 1920s and early Thirties who had many

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Jimmy Dorsey 1955

Jimmy Dorsey (1904-1957)

The older of the two Dorsey brothers Jimmy Dorsey (February 29, 1904 – June 12, 1957) was a child prodigy who began his musical career

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Phil Napoleon 1943

Phil Napoleon (1901-1990)

Phil Napoleon (2 September 1901 – 1 October 1990) was a classically trained trumpet player, but he turned his back the concert hall and formed

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