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date: 02 June 2020

Ervin, Booker locked

(31 Oct. 1930–31 Aug. 1970),
  • Barry Kernfeld

Extract

jazz tenor saxophonist, was born Booker Telleferro Ervin Jr. in Denison, Texas, the son of Booker Ervin, a trombonist who played with the tenor saxophonist Buddy Tate; his mother's name is unknown. Booker played his father's instrument from ages eight to thirteen and then abandoned music. In 1950 he borrowed a tenor saxophone to play in an Army Air Force band, but was discharged in 1952 or 1953 and spent another period away from playing before studying in Boston at the Berklee School of Music in 1953–1954. He returned to Texas and again dropped out of music. From 1955 to 1956 he played with rhythm and blues bands in the Southwest and in Chicago, including a period with Ernie Fields's group. In 1956 he traveled to Dallas and then to Denver where he played his first jazz jobs but once again became dissatisfied with his playing ...

A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.

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