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Nat Towles

Subject: Music

B. 10 August 1905, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. January 1963, Berkeley, California, USA. Well-strewn though it is with forgotten names and unjustifiably overlooked musicians, the ...

Towles Nat

Towles Nat   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
466 words

... Nat b. 10 August 1905, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. January 1963, Berkeley, California, USA. Well-strewn though it is with forgotten names and unjustifiably overlooked musicians, the history of jazz has been particularly unkind to Towles. After learning to play violin and guitar, he switched to playing bass and in the early 20s gained experience playing with musicians such as Henry ‘Red’ Allen and Buddy Petit . During the mid-20s he led his own bands in southern and south-eastern states, occasionally playing with other leaders. In the early 30s, he...

Nat Towles

Nat Towles  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. 10 August 1905, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. January 1963, Berkeley, California, USA. Well-strewn though it is with forgotten names and unjustifiably overlooked musicians, the history of jazz ...
Neal Hefti

Neal Hefti  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. 29 October 1922, Hastings, Nebraska, USA. One of the most influential big band arrangers of the 40s and 50s, Hefti’s early charts were played by the Nat Towles band ...
Morand Herb

Morand Herb   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
161 words

...Herb b. 1905, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. d. 23 February 1952, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Beginning to play trumpet as a youth, Morand became a professional musician at the age of 18. He worked in bands led by Nat Towles , Chris Kelly and others, often in and around his home town. In Chicago from the late 20s, he played and recorded with many musicians, including Johnny Dodds , Rosetta Howard , and the Harlem Hamfats . In the early 40s he returned to New Orleans where he led his own bands, later joining George Lewis . A competent player raised in...

Coker Henry

Coker Henry   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
183 words

...Dallas, Texas, USA, d. 23 November 1979, Los Angeles, California, USA. Coker’s first professional engagement, in 1935 playing the trombone, was with a band led by John White and two years later, his reputation was such that he was hired by Nat Towles , one of the most esteemed territory bands . After leaving Towles he worked in the Hawaiian Islands, returning home after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On the west coast in the mid-40s, he mixed studio work with jobs in bands led by Benny Carter and Eddie Heywood , then joined Illinois Jacquet . Starting in...

Cooper Buster

Cooper Buster   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
245 words

...when he performs ballads, he brings to his playing an attractive and delicately romantic touch. ALBUMS with Thurman Green E-bone-ix (Blue Lady 1997) ٭ ٭ ٭ See also Benny Goodman , Lucky Millinder , Duke Ellington , Lionel Hampton , Frank Capp , Bill Berry , Nat Pierce , Nat Towles , Marshal Royal...

Johnson Money

Johnson Money   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
210 words

...Harold Johnson, 23 February 1918, Tyler, Texas, USA, d. 28 March 1978, New York City, New York, USA. Johnson began playing trumpet as a young teenager and in his late teens was living in Oklahoma City where his musical companions included Charlie Christian . In 1937 he joined Nat Towles ’ famous territory band , remaining there until 1942 when the band effectively transferred to the leadership of Horace Henderson . He stayed with Henderson until 1944, then played with various leaders including Count Basie , Cootie Williams and Lucky Millinder . In the...

Mitchell Billy

Mitchell Billy   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
315 words

...Billy b. Willie Melvin Mitchell, 3 November 1926, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, d. 18 April 2001, New York City, New York, USA. Mitchell studied in Detroit and played tenor saxophone with Nat Towles ’ band in the late 40s before moving to New York with Lucky Millinder ’s Orchestra. He spent a couple of months in Woody Herman ’s Second Herd, and then led his own bop quintet back in Detroit, which included Thad Jones on trumpet and Elvin Jones on drums (1950-53). In the mid-50s, after a couple of years with Dizzy Gillespie , he recorded with Ray...

Love Preston

Love Preston   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
268 words

...Nebraska, USA. Love inherited an alto saxophone from his older brother Dude and obtained his first professional job in 1940, after which he took lessons from Illinois Jacquet ’s brother Julius. Inspired further by Count Basie ’s Earle Warren , Love played with Lloyd Hunter, Nat Towles and Snub Mosley before replacing Warren in Basie’s band briefly in 1943. He worked with Lucky Millinder in 1944 and rejoined Basie for a longer spell from 1945-47, after which he played on-and-off in the band of his friend, Johnny Otis . Love also led his own orchestra...

Beckett Fred

Beckett Fred   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
330 words

...Beckett played were those led by Eddie Johnson , Duke Wright, Buster Smith , Tommy Douglas , Andy Kirk , Prince Stewart, Nat Towles and Harlan Leonard . All this was in the 30s and suggests either wanderlust or a desire to learn his trade in the wide range of exciting musical circumstances of the time and place. Certainly, these bands include some of the most noted of the burgeoning Kansas City Jazz style (Smith, Kirk, Towles and Leonard). In the early 40s, Beckett joined Lionel Hampton ’s recently-formed band and a few other examples of his playing...

Quinichette Paul

Quinichette Paul   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
440 words

...that led by Nat Towles . Amongst the outfits with which he played in the early 40s were those led by Jay McShann , Benny Carter and Johnny Otis . Later in the decade he was active in New York, playing and recording with Louis Jordan , Dinah Washington , Lucky Millinder and others, and in the early 50s he worked with Count Basie . Included in his recordings of this period are concert performances with Washington released as The Jazz Sides (1954-58). In the mid-50s Quinichette played briefly with Benny Goodman , John Coltrane and Nat Pierce but...

Page Walter

Page Walter   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
354 words

...struggle and he too joined Moten. He later played in Basie’s band where he became one quarter of the fabled All American Rhythm Section (with Basie, Freddie Green and Jo Jones ). Leaving Basie in 1942 he played with several leading territory bands, including those led by Nat Towles and Jesse Price , and in the middle of the decade was back with Basie. Later, he played in various pick-up groups, often in New York but with occasional tours, a pattern of work that continued into the mid-50s. He died in 1957. A solid player with an impeccable sense of time,...

Singer Hal

Singer Hal   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
363 words

...8 October 1919, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. After beginning his musical tuition on the violin at the age of eight, Singer switched to clarinet and, finally, tenor saxophone which he played with various big bands in the 40s - notably Ernie Fields and Tommy Douglas (both 1941), Nat Towles (1942), Jay McShann (1942-43), Roy Eldridge (1944) and Lucky Millinder and Oran ‘Hot Lips’ Page (both 1947). After appearing on various jazz and R&B records in the late 40s - he played tenor on Wynonie Harris ’ ‘Good Rocking Tonight’ - he was recommended to Savoy...

Thompson Charles, Sir

Thompson Charles, Sir   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
420 words

...12 March 1918, Springfield, Ohio, USA. After starting out on violin Thompson switched to piano and was playing professionally by his mid-teenage years. During the mid- to late 30s he played with several notable territory bands in the south-west, including that led by Nat Towles . In 1940 he was briefly with Lionel Hampton ’s big band but preferred small group work, although he regularly wrote arrangements for musicians including Count Basie and Jimmy Dorsey . During the 40s and 50s he worked with leading jazzmen such as Lester Young (who...

Hefti Neal

Hefti Neal   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
624 words

...soundtrack (Dot 1968) ٭ ٭ ٭ Batman Theme And 19 Hefti Bat Songs (Razor & Tie 1998) ٭ ٭ ٭ COMPILATIONS Sure Thing: The Art Of Arrangement (Ocium 2003) ٭ ٭ ٭ See also Frank Sinatra , Count Basie , Nat Towles , Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines , Charlie Barnet , Woody Herman , Ralph Burns , Billy Butterfield , Charlie Ventura , Harry James , Ernie Wilkins , Nat Pierce...

Nelson Oliver

Nelson Oliver   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
640 words

...d. 28 October 1975, Los Angeles, California, USA. After studying piano and alto saxophone, Nelson settled on playing the latter instrument, paying his dues in various territory bands . In the late 40s he was with the popular Jeter-Pillars Orchestra as well as that led by Nat Towles . Early in the 50s he was briefly with Louis Jordan but then resumed his studies at universities in Washington, DC, and Missouri, also taking lessons from the respected composer Elliott Carter. In New York in the late 50s, he worked in bands led by Erskine Hawkins and ...

Counce Curtis

Counce Curtis   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
495 words

...Curtis b. Curtis Lee Counce, 23 January 1926, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, d. 31 July 1963, Los Angeles, California, USA. After studying various instruments, bass player Counce gained professional experience playing with Nat Towles ’ territory band in the early 40s. He subsequently worked for three years with Edgar Hayes . By the end of the decade Counce had begun a period of intensive association with many of the leading west coast beboppers currently engaged in creating the ‘cool school’ of jazz. In 1953 he recorded with Teddy Charles and was on...

Territory Bands

Territory Bands   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
644 words

...dance and jazz orchestras was Texas. Based in Dallas were the fine Alphonso Trent band, generally regarded as the best of the territory bands, plus outfits led by Don Albert , Terrence Holder and Doc Ross, in whose band Jack Teagarden played. The Milt Larkin and Nat Towles units, both bands highly regarded among musicians, were based in Houston; and San Antonio had Boots And His Buddies, led by drummer Clifford ‘Boots’ Douglas, and Troy Floyd. Even smaller towns, such as Amarillo, had exceptional bands, in this case Gene Coy ’s Happy Black...

Tate Buddy

Tate Buddy   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
667 words

...of his generation, Tate paid his dues in a succession of territory bands between 1927 and 1939. Having started out on alto, he quickly developed into a formidable tenor player, lending presence and distinction to the bands of Troy Floyd, Terrence Holder , Andy Kirk and Nat Towles ; the latter always regarded by Tate as one of the best bands with which he ever worked. In 1939 he joined the Count Basie band, having briefly worked with Basie five years earlier. He stayed until the end of the 40s, then played with Lucky Millinder , Oran ‘Hot Lips’ Page ...

Christian Charlie

Christian Charlie   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
835 words

...of his own, Christian made a guitar out of cigar boxes and soon developed an impressive if localized reputation among musicians. In the early 30s he worked professionally with territory bands led by Anna Mae Winburn , who later led the International Sweethearts Of Rhythm , Nat Towles , Alphonso Trent , with whom he played bass, and others. As early as 1937 he was experimenting with electrical amplification and had built upon his early reputation. In 1939, at the urging of Mary Lou Williams , he was heard at the Ritz Cafe in Oklahoma City by entrepreneur...

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