1-13 of 13 results  for:

  • Rhythm and Blues Musician/Singer x
  • Performing Arts x
  • Percussionist x
Clear all

Article

Nathaniel Friedman

jazz drummer, was born Edward Joseph in New Orleans, Louisiana, to unknown parents. He grew up steeped in his hometown's musical tradition, influenced by two tap‐dancing siblings to take up the drums. New Orleans percussionists like Paul Barbarin were Blackwell's earliest models, making him one of several future avant‐gardists whose roots were in jazz's oldest traditions.

In 1951 Blackwell relocated to Los Angeles, where he played in the rhythm and blues outfits of Plas and Raymond Johnson. More significantly he made the acquaintance the saxophonist Ornette Coleman with whom he would be associated for his entire career Coleman also working with various degrees of success in the Los Angeles rhythm and blues scene sought to introduce an unprecedented degree of melodic harmonic and rhythmic freedom into jazz This new approach required an almost telepathic bond between band members as interaction was governed by little more than improvisational ingenuity In ...

Article

Michael J. Budds

singer, drummer, and bandleader, was born Myron Carlton Bradshaw in Youngstown, Ohio. His parents' names are unknown. He played the drums from the age of ten and soon after was performing professionally as a drummer and vocalist. Early in his career he served as the drummer of the Jump Johnson Band in Buffalo, New York. He attended Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and majored in psychology. Before forming his own big band in 1934, he sang with Horace Henderson's Collegians, and in New York he either drummed or sang with Marion Hardy's Alabamians, the Savoy Bearcats, Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1932–1933), and Luis Russell (1933–1934).

Bradshaw s own band enjoyed long engagements in the ballrooms and nightclubs of Harlem notably the Savoy and the Apollo Philadelphia and Chicago and toured throughout the United States and Europe making its reputation with powerful blues based jazz His ...

Article

Donald Roe

jazz musician, philanthropist, and black Republican. Lionel Hampton's career as a musician spanned seven decades, during which he became a jazz icon. While Hampton was an excellent drummer, his mastery of the vibraphone and his popularity as a bandleader enabled him to stamp his unique signature on jazz. He presented music to the people with panache, exuberance, and showmanship. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on 20 April 1908, but moved to Chicago with his maternal grandmother, Louvenia Morgan, after his mother, Gertrude, remarried following the apparent death of his father, Charles, during World War I. Morgan enrolled Hampton in the Holy Rosary Academy, a Catholic School in Collins, Wisconsin, to protect him from the mean streets of Chicago. He learned to play the drums in the academy's fife and drum corps.

Hampton s grandmother was a conservative evangelical Christian but she encouraged his interest in secular ...

Article

Sholomo B. Levy

vibraphone pioneer, philanthropist, and big band leader, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Charles Edward, a railroad worker, and Gertrude Morgan, a waitress. Lionel's father was sent to France as a combat soldier during World War I and was soon declared missing in action. When his family could not learn of his whereabouts, they presumed that he had been killed. Mrs. Hampton had returned to her parents in Birmingham, Alabama, where Lionel was entrusted to his grandparents, Richard and Louvenia Morgan Lionel considered them to be his parents after his mother remarried and started a new family After achieving fame Lionel had a brief reunion with the father he thought he had lost three decades earlier when a fan told him of an elderly man who had been blinded in the war and living in a Veterans Administration hospital in Ohio who told everyone ...

Article

James Sellman

Lionel Hampton was a tireless and swinging Jazz soloist and bandleader who rose to prominence in the 1930s. Although committed to his swing-derived style, he remained open to new musical directions throughout his career. During the 1940s, his big band's shift from swing jazz helped create Rhythm and Blues (R&B). He later recorded a version of John Coltrane's influential 1959 composition, “Giant Steps.” In the 1990s a series of strokes affected his playing, but Hampton continued to tour and perform until shortly before his death.

Hampton was born in Louisville, Kentucky. His family had moved to Birmingham, Alabama, while he was an infant, but in 1919 they joined the Great Migration and settled in Chicago Hampton s mother secured his admission to Holy Rosary Academy 140 km 90 mi north of Chicago There Hampton learned the rudiments of drumming After transferring to another Catholic school in ...

Article

Charles L. Hughes

drummer, producer, and member of Booker T. and the MGs, was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Little is known of his mother, but his father Al Jackson Sr., led one of Memphis's most popular big bands, and it was with his father that Al Jr. first played professionally, beginning as a drummer at age ten. This apprenticeship proved fulfilling for the young musician: he got to play the jazz of his musical idols, and his tenure with his father won him gigs with the prominent dance groups led by Ben Branch and Willie Mitchell, respectively. These bands, which bridged the gap between postwar jazz and 1950s R&B, performed regularly in black clubs around the region, like the Flamingo Room and Plantation Inn. Aside from his steady gig, playing with the highly talented Mitchell soon brought Jackson into contact with Booker T. Jones a prodigious keyboardist ...

Article

T. Dennis Brown

jazz drummer, was born Joseph Rudolph Jones in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Amelia J. Abbott, a piano teacher and church organist. His father, whose name is unknown, died shortly after he was born. During his early childhood Joseph was featured as a tap dancer on a local Philadelphia radio program, The Kiddie Show. Interestingly, several other important jazz drummers, including Jo Jones and Buddy Rich, were also tap dancers. Joseph's sisters studied violin and piano, and his first organized musical experience began in grade school, where he played drums. In 1941 he left high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served as a military policeman until his release in 1943. His wife's name was Eloise (maiden name and marriage date unknown), and they had one child.

After being discharged from the army Jones played in local Philadelphia bands before moving in ...

Article

Dan Shope

drummer, grew up next to the French Quarter in the predominantly African American Treme District in New Orleans. Palmer's mother, Thelma, was a dancer, who at one point became a member of a traveling vaudeville show called Ida Cox's “Darktown Scoundrels.” Palmer never knew his father. As a child, he was told that his father was once a cook on a whaling ship that sailed out of Newfoundland when he was killed in an accident. Palmer grew up learning to tap, while also learning to play the drums. He felt his tap dancing background was advantageous in developing his drumming style.

In 1943 Palmer joined the racially segregated U S Army He attained the rank of staff sergeant in the 642nd Ordnance Ammunition Company but he was later reduced in rank for arming himself and other African American infantrymen with live ammunition Palmer was then shipped ...

Article

Eric R. Jackson

composer, drummer, and singer, was born Theodore DeReese Pendergrass in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Ida Geraldine Epps and Jesse Pendergrass, both of whom were the children of South Carolina sharecroppers. Jesse Pendergrass mysteriously abandoned his original family and remarried when Teddy was a small child. Teddy did not see his biological father again until 1961, one year before Jesse was murdered by a neighborhood “friend” over a supposed gambling debt. Despite being fatherless and an only child, Teddy's early childhood years were filled with the constant love and affection of his mother and several aunts, especially his aunt Ila David (Aunt Dee), who bestowed on him the nickname “Teddy the Bear” when he was two years old. During these years Ida Pendergrass instilled in her son the belief that God had chosen him to achieve greatness.

Pendergrass first exhibited signs of his musical talent ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

jazz drummer, was born Charles Daniel Richmond in New York City. Details of his parents are unknown. Richmond gave his birth year as 1935, a date reproduced in nearly all sources, but the New York Times obituary gives 1931, which fits better with his activities before joining the bassist Charles Mingus in 1956 Richmond was raised alternately in New York City and Greensboro North Carolina Although his memory of his upbringing was contradictory in locating important events for example where he took up the tenor saxophone and where he switched to drums the essential story is clear It was probably in Greensboro that he first played saxophone the instrument had been given to his older brother who had chosen football over music and consequently left it unused He studied mainly tenor saxophone in high school but for student ensembles he also was asked to play xylophone ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

jazz and soul music drummer, was born Frederick Douglas Waits in Jackson, Mississippi, the son of Lillie B. Weathers. His father's name is unknown. Waits played drums as a child and studied flute and drums at Lanier High School. At age sixteen, in the summer before his senior year, he toured with the Upsetters, accompanying the rhythm and blues musician Little Willie John. In this setting he first performed in New York City at Smalls' Paradise.

At Jackson State College, Waits majored in music, with flute as his primary instrument. While in college he played in bands that accompanied the rhythm and blues musicians Percy Mayfield, Ivory Joe Hunter, and Sam Cooke on tour, and Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker, and Memphis Slim in their visits to Jackson. From about 1962 to 1963 traveling back and forth between Jackson and Detroit ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

jazz string bass player, was born Wilbur Bernard Ware in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Elijah Bernard Ware and Eleanor Broomfield. His parents separated when he was very young, and Ware went to Chicago to live with the family of a minister named Turner. Having already been exposed to African American gospel music, he began playing the drums in church at the age of eight or nine. Turner played a number of instruments, and when Ware was ten or eleven years old, Turner built him a string bass, which he began to play in what he called a “tramp band” composed of inexpensive or homemade string and percussion instruments. He also was a tap dancer during these years.

Ware worked locally in a five-piece band beginning in 1937 when he performed at the Tuxedo Inn and he received lessons from the bassist Truck Parham He was a ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

jazz drummer, was born Samuel Woodyard in Elizabeth, New Jersey. His parents' names are unknown. His father played drums on weekends. Sam quit school on his sixteenth birthday and began working nonmusical jobs while playing drums on Saturday nights. He married in 1942, and evidently he married again later in life, but details are unknown.

Woodyard toured in the rhythm and blues groups of Paul Gayten in 1950 and Joe Holiday in 1951, and he worked with the jazz trumpeter Roy Eldridge in 1952. In 1953, while with Holiday again in Philadelphia, he transferred into the organist Milt Buckner's trio, with which he remained into 1955. He then joined Duke Ellington's big band from July 1955 to November 1966, leaving only for brief periods in 1959 and 1965. Among his notable recordings are Ellington at Newport (1956), Such ...