NEW ORLEANS JAZZ MUSICIANS and
OTHER GREAT MUSICIANS REMEMBERED
Al Hirt (Alois Maxwell Hirt) - (November 7, 1922 – April 27, 1999) - New Orlean's trumpet virtuoso. Skyrocketing to national fame in the 60's with hits like "Java", Al never forgot his roots and is lovingly called ‘Jumbo’ by the locals. Al Hirt has performed with many of the Swing big bands, including bands by Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. Al Hirt is beloved by this city for will always be missed.
Albany Barney Leon Bigard - (March 1906 - June 1980) - Jazz clarinetist who played with King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and co-wrote "Mood Indigo" was born in New Orleans. In 1947, Bigard joined the Louis Armstrong All-Stars, and constantly toured the world with the group until 1955, when he left the band. He later re-joined the band from 1960-61. Bigard was semi-retired after 1962, but still played now and then, recording with Earl Hines, and playing in a Johnny St. Cyr's Dixieland band called the Young Men from New Orleans at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Barry Cowsill - (September 1954 - December 2005) - Barry was in and out of New Orleans for many years. It was good to know you Barry, and we hope to see you in "Rock-n-Roll" Heaven! Barry lead an amazing life and touched a great many people as can be witnessed by the posts in his Memorial Book. From those he knew personally to the fans who knew him back in the 1960s as a member of The Cowsills and those who knew him as an adult because of As Is or from seeing him on stage in some bar somewhere, Barry made an impact on everyone.
Boswell Sisters - Martha (1905-1958), Connie (1907-1976) & Helvetia (1911-1988) the Boswell sisters somehow got close enough to the black community to absorb Southern gospel and blues. They also had one of, if not the earliest number one national hit for a song by a New Orleans artist.
Buddy Bolden - (September 1877 - November 1931) - is generally considered to be the first man to play the improvised music which later became know as Jazz. He was the first "King" of cornet in New Orleans. Also see: PBS - JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography - Buddy Bolden. And: New Orleans Jazz Museum: Buddy Bolden.
Bunk William Geary Johnson - (1879 or 1889 - July 7, 1949) - an early Dixieland trumpeter born in New Orleans who played in Frankie Dusen's Eagle Band and The Superior Orchestra, and more. He made his first recordings in 1942, and became a popular fixture of the Dixieland revival of the 1940's.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - (April 18, 1924 - September 10, 2005) - Born in Vinton, Louisiana, Brown was raised in Orange, Texas. His professional musical career began in 1945, playing drums in San Antonio, Texas. Tagged with the "Gatemouth" handle by a high school instructor who accused Brown of having a "voice like a gate," Brown has used it to his advantage throughout his illustrious career.
Connee, Martha and Vet Boswell - New Orleans born singers recorded in the 1920's. Discography. The sisters' harmonic vocals, dotted with scatting and numerous tempo and key changes, quickly made them popular in New Orleans and beyond. They recorded several songs during the twenties, but it wasn't until 1930, when they recorded four songs for the Okeh label, that they finally achieved popular recognition.
Ernie K-Doe - (February 22, 1936 - July 5, 2001) - Ernie K-Doe was a legendary rhythm & blues performer from New Orleans. He's made many hit records, including the song 'Mother-in-Law', which reached No.1 in 1961.
Faron Young - (February 1932 - December 1996) - Country music star Faron Young, born in Shreveport, Louisiana - biography, awards, discography and pics. American country music singer and songwriter from the early 1950s into the mid-1980s. Faron Young is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Ferd "Jelly Roll" Morton - Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe was born in New Orleans on 20th October 1890. "Originator of Jazz - Stomp - Swing. World's greatest Hot Tune Writer".
Floyd Cramer - (October 27, 1933 – December 31, 1997) - born in Shreveport, Louisiana - American singer/pianist who played with the Grand Ole Opry.
Frankie Dusen - (1880 - 1940) - Trombonist with the Bolden Band and later the Eagle Band which was very popular in New Orleans until around 1917. In 1918 he played with the band on the riverboat S.S. Capitol. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s he played occasionally with Louis Dumaine's Orchestra and he received money from the WPA during the Depression.
Freddie Keppard - (February 27, 1890 - July 15, 1933) - Johnson and Keppard's band became the Original Creole Orchestra which toured the Vaudeville circuit, giving other parts of the USA a first taste of the music that was not yet known as "jazz".Keppard's style is much more raggy compared to Oliver's blues tinged style. While Oliver had more admirers, to some extent preference was a matter of taste; Jelly Roll Morton, Lil Hardin Armstrong, and Wellman Braud all thought Keppard superior to Oliver. American jazz musician (cornetist) born in New Orleans and co-lead "The Original Creole Orchestra".
George Brunis - (February 6, 1902 – November 19, 1974) - Trombone player got his start playing with Papa Jack Laine's band and later went on to play with Laine's son Alfred "Baby" Laine's band. George Brunies, aka Georg Brunis, was a jazz trombonist who came to fame in the 1930s, and was part of the Dixieland revival. He was known as the 'King of the Tailgate Trombone'.
Joe "King" Oliver - (May 11, 1885 – April 10, 1938) - Cornetist and bandleader - King Oliver is said to have begun music as a trombonist, and from about 1907 he played in brass bands, dance bands, and in various small groups in New Orleans bars and cabarets. Read his biography or hear his sweet sounds, PBS has a great tribute. Jazz A Film by Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography - Joe "King" Oliver.
Johnny Dodds - (April 12, 1892 – August 8, 1940) - Johnny Dodds and his Orchestra discography and biography. Born in New Orleans. American jazz musician-bandleader. Johnny Dodds was one of the greatest clarinetist of the 1920's. He worked with most of the major Hot Jazz bands of the era.
Leadbelly - Huddie William Ledbetter - (January 20, 1889 - December 6, 1949) - The source of the name Leadbelly is still argued upon, but the most popular theories attribute it to a simple play on his name, his strength, sexual prowess, or a reported buckshot wound to his stomach. He was born in Mooringsport, Louisiana. Blues legend best known for his "Good Night, Irene".
Lee Collins - (1901 - 1960) - American jazz musician - born in New Orleans. Trumpeter and vocalist. He played in Pops Foster's Young Eagles, and in orchestras around town. In 1924 he went North to replace Louis Armstrong in King Olivers Creole Jazz Band, after Armstrong quit to join Fletcher Henderson in New York.
Louis Armstrong - (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971) - Dedicated to Louis Armstrong. featuring a biography, archives, list of recordings, and information on Louis Armstrong House. "He's the father of us all, regardless of style or how modern we get. His influence is inescapable. Some of the things he was doing in the 20's and 30's, people still haven't dealt with." (Nicholas Payton)
Louis Leo Prima - (December 7, 1910 – August 24, 1978) - official tribute and record label site offers biography, photos, news, quotes, and more. Louis Prima rose from the rank-and-file of musicians in the now acknowledged great training ground of New orleans in 1934. The Louis Prima Band became such a smash hit in the club (Famous Door) that the entire 52nd Street, between 5th Avenue and Broadway, was renamed "Swing Street".
Mahalia Jackson - (October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972) - The legendary gospel and blues singer. Mahalia Jackson was born in New Orleans in 1911, where she was raised by her aunt from the age of four until Mahalia moved to Chicago in 1927. Growing up, Mahalia entertained her family with hymns and gospel tunes, her voice naturally booming.
Professor Longhair - (December 19, 1918 - January 30, 1980) - was born Henry Roeland Byrd in Bogalusa, Louisiana. This site offers info on his printed music, discography, and has sound clips. Professor Longhair is noteworthy for having been active in two distinct periods, both in the heyday of early rhythm and blues, and in the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz after the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Sidney Bechet - American jazz musician and bandleader born in New Orleans. Read his bio and learn about his music.
Wingy Joseph Manone - (1900 - 1982) - born in New Orleans. American jazz musician who played trumpet Louis Armstrong-Style.