- Scott Yanow
jazz bassist and tuba player, was born George Sylvester Callender in Haynesville, Virginia. He grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he studied alto horn and tuba before switching to double bass. While his first musical jobs (from 1932) were in New York and the Midwest, a tour with Blanche Thompson's Brownskin Models took him to Los Angeles in 1936. Callender spent most of the remainder of his life and career on the West Coast.
Red Callender worked with the Buck Clayton Orchestra in 1936 and made his recording debut the following year with Louis Armstrong's big band, where he subbed for Pops Foster. Also in 1937, his songs “Lost Love” and “Bogo Jo” were recorded by Lionel Hampton. Callender taught bass to the young Charles Mingus, worked and recorded with the early Nat King Cole Trio during 1938 and 1939 ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.