Ed Allen (December 15, 1897, Nashville, Tennessee – January
28, 1974, New York City) was an American jazz trumpeter and cornetist.
Edward Clifton Allen's family moved to St. Louis, Missouri,
when he was seven; he began playing piano at age ten and settled on cornet soon
after. He worked as a truck driver in his teens and played in military bands.
By the mid-1910s he was playing professionally in local nightclubs and bars. He
moved to Seattle to take a gig with Ralph Stevenson, then returned to St. Louis
to play on the Streckfus line of riverboats that ran between New Orleans and
St. Louis on the Mississippi River. Early in the 1920s he played in the band of
Charlie Creath, but by 1922 he had his own ensemble, the Whispering Gold Band,
aboard the S.S. Capitol.
In 1924 Allen made his way to Chicago and played with Earl
Hines until 1925. Allen then played from 1925 to 1927 in a revue called Ed
Daily's Black and White Show, as a member of Joe Jordan's group, the Sharps
& Flats. In the second half of the decade Allen recorded extensively with
Clarence Williams in the group later known as the LeRoy Tibbs Orchestra. This
ensemble also accompanied Bessie Smith on some recordings. Around this time
Allen also recorded in several bands of King Oliver's.
Allen played in various dance bands through the 1930s and
1940s, then played with Benton Heath in New York City from the mid-1940s up
until 1963. His last appearance on record was in England with Chris Barber in
the 1950s. After 1963 Allen's failing health resulted in his retirement from
Ed Allen c / Carmelo Jari cl / Clarence Williams p / Floyd Casey wb / Clarence Lee v.
Henry James "Red" Allen was born in the Algiers
neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of bandleader Henry Allen. He
took early trumpet lessons from Peter Bocage and Manuel Manetta.
Allen's career began in Sidney Desvigne's Southern
Syncopators. He was playing professionally by 1924 with the Excelsior Brass
Band and the jazz dance bands of Sam Morgan, George Lewis and John Casimir.
After playing on riverboats on the Mississippi River he went to Chicago in 1927
to join King Oliver's band. Around this time he made recordings on the side in
the band of Clarence Williams. After returning briefly to New Orleans, where he
worked with the bands of Fate Marable and Fats Pichon, he was offered a
recording contract with Victor Records and returned to New York City, where he
also joined the Luis Russell band, which was later fronted by Louis Armstrong
in the late 1930s.
In 1929 Allen joined Luis Russell's Orchestra where he was a
featured soloist until 1932. Allen took part in recording sessions that year
organized by Eddie Condon, some of which featured Fats Waller and/or Tommy
Dorsey. He also made a series of recordings in late 1931 with Don Redman, and
in 1933 he joined Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra where he stayed until 1934. He
played with Lucky Millinder's Mills Blue Rhythm Band from 1934 to 1937, when he
returned to Luis Russell for three more years by the time Russell's orchestra
was fronted by Louis Armstrong. Allen very seldom received any solo space on
recordings with Armstrong, but was prominently featured at the band's personal
appearances, even getting billing as a featured attraction.
As a bandleader, Allen recorded for Victor from 1929 through
1930. He made a series of recordings as co-leader with Coleman Hawkins in 1933
for ARC (Banner, Melotone, Oriole, Perfect, Romeo, etc.) and continued on as an
ARC recording artist through 1935, when he was moved over to ARC's Vocalion
label for a popular series of swing records from 1935 through late 1937. A
number of these were quite popular at the time. He did a solitary session for
Decca in 1940 and two sessions for OKeh in 1941. After World War II, he
recorded for Brunswick in 1944, Victor in 1946, and Apollo in 1947.
Allen continued making many recordings under his own name,
as well as recording with Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton, and accompanying
such vocalists as Victoria Spivey and Billie Holiday. After a short stint with
Benny Goodman, Allen started leading his own band at The Famous Door in
Manhattan. He then toured with the band around the USA into the late 1950s.
In December 1957, Red Allen made an appearance on the
"Sound Of Jazz" television show. In 1959 Allen made his first tour of
Europe when he joined Kid Ory's band. From 1954 until the club ceased its jazz
policy in 1965, Allen led the house band at New York's Metropole Cafe.
Allen returned to working under his own name making numerous
tours of the United States and Europe. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
in late 1966, and after undergoing surgery, made a final tour of England ending
six weeks before his death on April 17, 1967 in New York City. He left behind
his widow, Pearly May, and a son, Henry Allen III.
Henry Allen t, v / Keg Johnson or Claude Jones tb / Buster Bailey cl / Hilton Jefferson as / Horace Henderson p / Lawrence Lucie g / Elmer James sb / Walter Johnson d.
Papa Charlie Jackson (November 10, 1887 – May 7, 1938) was
an early American bluesman and songster who accompanied himself with a banjo
guitar, a guitar, or a ukulele. His recording career began in 1924. Much of his
life remains a mystery, but it is probable that he was born in New Orleans,
Louisiana, and died in Chicago, Illinois in 1938.
Born William Henry Jackson, he originally performed in
minstrel and medicine shows. From the early 1920s into the 1930s, Jackson
played frequent club dates in Chicago, and was noted for busking at Chicago's
Maxwell Street Market. In August 1924, he recorded the commercially-successful
"Airy Man Blues" and "Papa's Lawdy Lawdy Blues" for
Paramount Records. One of his following tracks, "Salty Dog Blues",
became his most famous song. Among his recordings are several in which he
accompanied classic female blues singers such as Ida Cox, Hattie McDaniel, and
Blues writer Bruce Eder says that Jackson achieved "a
musical peak of sorts in September of 1929 when he got to record with his
longtime idol, Blind (Arthur) Blake, often known as the king of ragtime guitar
during this period. 'Papa Charlie and Blind Blake Talk About It' parts one and
two are among the most unusual sides of the late '20s, containing elements of
blues jam session, hokum recording, and ragtime". A few more recordings
for the Paramount label followed in 1929 and 1930. In 1934 he recorded for Okeh
Records, and the following year he recorded with Big Bill Broonzy. Altogether,
Jackson recorded 66 sides during his career.
Jackson was an influential figure in blues music, the first
blues musician to make records. He was one of the first musicians of the
"Hokum" genre, which uses comic, often sexually suggestive lyrics and
lively, danceable rhythms. He wrote or was the first to record several songs that
became blues standards, including "Spoonful" and "Salty
Dog". Nonetheless, he has received little attention from blues historians.
Jackson's "Shake That Thing" was covered by Mother
McCree's Uptown Jug Champions in 1964. "Loan Me Your Heart" appeared
on The Wildparty Sheiks eponymous album in 2002. The Carolina Chocolate Drops
recorded "Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine" on their Grammy Award
winning 2010 album, Genuine Negro Jig, and often played the song in interviews
after its release.
In 1973 Jackson's song "Shake That Thing" was
briefly featured in the Sanford and Son episode, "The Blind Mellow Jelly
Collection". Fred, played by Redd Foxx, could be seen dancing and singing
to it at the beginning of the episode.
Hartzell Strathdene "Tiny" Parham (February 25,
1900– April 4, 1943) was a Canadian-born American jazz bandleader and pianist
of African-American descent.
Parham was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada but grew up in
Kansas City. He worked as a pianist at The Eblon Theatre being mentored by the
ragtime pianist and composer James Scott, and later touring with territory
bands in the Southwestern United States before moving to Chicago in 1926. He is
best remembered for the recordings he made in Chicago between 1927 and 1930, as
an accompanist for Johnny Dodds and several female blues singers as well as
with his own band. Most of the musicians Parham played with are not well known
in their own right, though cornetist Punch Miller, banjoist Papa Charlie
Jackson, saxophone player Junie Cobb and bassist Milt Hinton are exceptions.
His entire recorded output for Victor are highly collected
and appreciated as prime examples of late 1920s jazz. His style of jazz was
comparable to the sophisticated style of Jelly Roll Morton. Parham favored the
violin and a number of his records have a surprisingly sophisticated violin
solos, along with the typical upfront tuba, horns and reeds. Parham wrote most,
if not all of his material.
After 1930 Parham found work in theater houses, especially
as an organist; his last recordings were made in 1940. His entire recorded
output fits on two compact discs.
Parham died April 4, 1943, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Tiny Parham p / Punch Miller c / Charles Lawson tb / Charles Johnson cl, as / (Papa) Charlie Jackson bj / Quinn Wilson bb / Ernie Marrero d