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Rainer E. Lotz

singer, musician, and theatrical entertainer, was born in Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa. As a juvenile comedian and singer he was a member of the Ponce de Leon Comedy Four with the Mahara Minstrels. In Mahara's brass band, then directed by the composer W. C. Handy, he worked in Cuba as a tuba player from 1899 to 1900, and Handy recalled him in his autobiography, Father of the Blues (1941). Garland and his trombone playing girl friend, Nettie Geoff, toured with Craine & Garland's Big Alabama Minstrels, followed by engagements with G. W. Washburn's Southern Minstrels (1900), Johnson and Stratter's Colored Minstrel Carnival (1901), and A Holiday in Coontown Company (1901). By 1903 Garland was playing the tuba with Richard & Pringle's Georgia Minstrels.

Garland and Nettie Geoff, now Mrs. Garland contributed to the success of ...


Barry Kernfeld

jazz pianist, was born Phineas Newborn Jr. in Whiteville, Tennessee, the son of Phineas Newborn Sr., a drummer, and Rosie Lee Murphy. While Newborn Sr. led a band at the Flamingo Club on Beale Street in Memphis, the six-year-old Phineas began jazz and classical studies with Georgia Woodruff, his first-grade teacher. He later studied arrangement with Onzie Horne and learned to play trumpet, baritone horn, French horn, and tuba in high school. He began his professional career in 1945 as a pianist. Prodigiously gifted, he was inspired by the great jazz pianists of the 1930s, above all the virtuoso Art Tatum. Yet he also spent years accompanying rhythm and blues and urban blues musicians, with whom he toured the South during school vacations. Newborn began playing with his father's band by the age of fifteen and was a regular member from 1948 to 1950 ...