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Scott Yanow

jazz vocalist and lyricist, was born John Carl Hendricks in Newark, Ohio. He grew up as one of seventeen children, the only musician in his family. As a child, he sang hymns and spirituals in church and at parties. In 1932 he moved to Toledo with his family.

While growing up, Hendricks sang on the radio. His accompanist was sometimes pianist Art Tatum. After moving to Detroit in 1940, he sang with the band of his brother-in-law, Jessie Jones. Hendricks served in the army in Europe during 1942–1946. After his discharge, he studied law at the University of Toledo but found that music interested him more. He taught himself to play drums and worked as a singing drummer for two years in Rochester, New York, and in Toledo in 1951.

After Charlie Parker who was passing through Ohio heard him sing and urged him ...

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Barry Kernfeld

jazz singer, lyricist, and tap dancer, was born Edgar Jefferson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Information about his parents is unknown. It is known that he started dancing around age eight. He also played tuba in a school band and taught himself guitar and drums, experience that later gave his singing a firm musical foundation. In Pittsburgh he was accompanied by the pianist Art Blakey, before Blakey took up drums, and he danced and sang with the Zephyrs at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933. In 1937 Jefferson danced in the Knockouts, a trio that included Dave Tate and Irv Taylor (Little Irv), and he worked in a dance team called Billy and Eddie in 1939. Around 1940 he performed with Coleman Hawkins's big band at Dave's in Chicago. While in the army, around 1942 he was in charge of a drum and bugle ...

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Barry Kernfeld

song lyricist, was born Andreamentania Paul Razafkeriefo in Washington, D.C., the son of Henry Razafkeriefo, a military officer and nephew of the queen of Madagascar, and Jennie Maria Waller. His grandfather was John Louis Waller, a U.S. consul to Madagascar whose arrest in Tamatave and subsequent imprisonment in Marseilles, France, touched off an 1895 upheaval in Madagascar that resulted in his father's death there and his mother's flight home to the United States, where she gave birth. From the spring of 1896, when John Waller returned from prison, the young Razafkeriefo followed in the trail of his grandfather's ultimately unsuccessful political and entrepreneurial activities in Baltimore, Kansas City, Cuba (for two years), Manhattan (from 1900), and Yonkers (from 1905). By 1911—after his grandfather's death in 1907 and his mother s short lived second marriage which brought the family to Passaic New ...

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Annemarie Bean

vocalist, lyricist, and orchestra leader, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. His early interest in performance was influenced by his father, George Andrew, a Methodist Episcopal minister and organist, and by his schoolteacher mother, Martha Angeline, who stressed good diction. When he was seventeen the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and Sissle attended the integrated Central High School. Sissle had begun his professional life by joining Edward Thomas's all-male singing quartet in 1908, which toured a Midwest evangelical Chautauqua circuit. Upon graduating from high school, Sissle toured again, this time with Hann's Jubilee Singers. After brief enrollments at DePauw University and Butler University in Indiana, Sissle got his show business break when he was asked by the manager of the Severin Hotel to form a syncopated orchestra in the style of James Reese Europe Syncopated orchestras also known as society orchestras and ...