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Caryn E. Neumann

jazz drummer and bandleader, was born in Cynthia, Kentucky. As a teenager, he began playing drums. McKinney later served in the U.S. Army during World War I and picked up the drumsticks again after being demobilized in 1919. He toured with the Sells-Floto Circus Band, but then settled in Springfield, Ohio, where he found work with O'Neill's Orchestra led by the saxophonist Don O'Neill.

Springfield in the 1920s was a thriving city of fifty thousand people and only a few bands. Sensing a good opportunity, McKinney joined the pianist Todd Rhodes and the saxophonist/clarinetist Milton Senior in forming the Synco Trio in about 1921. Senior served as the musical director, responsible for rehearsals. When another musician joined, it became the Synco Quartet, then the Synco Quintet, and, eventually, the Synco Jazz Band. By 1924 the band was known as both McKinney s Synco and the ...