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The Registry

Tue, 11.13.1894 story

Bennie Moten, Jazz Pianist born

*On this date in 1894, Bennie Moten was born. He was an African American pianist and one of the earliest known organizers of bands in the Midwest in the emergent years of jazz.

Moten was born in Kansas City, MO. He became a band leader in and around his hometown in 1922 and remained so until his death. His made his recording debut in 1923, and, although many of his recordings sound unremarkable, he is regarded as a figure of great importance in the development of the larger jazz orchestra.

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Tue, 08.26.1902 story

Jimmy Rushing, Singer, and Musician born

On this date we mark the birth of Jimmy Rushing in 1902. Known as “Mister Five-by-Five,” he was an African American singer-pianist.

Rushing was born in Oklahoma City and reared in a family in which both parents were musical and an uncle was a pianist in a whorehouse. Rushing played piano and sang while attending Wilberforce University before joining Walter Page’s Blue Devils, then the Bennie Moten band later in the 1920s.

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Thu, 04.25.1872 story

Minnie Crosthwaite, Social Worker born

Minnie Lee Crosthwaite’s birth in 1872 is celebrated on this date. She was an African American social worker and community leader.

Born and raised Minnie Lee Harris, she was a product of Nashville, Tennessee. She attended Fisk University in her hometown and taught first grade in a Nashville public school for two years. She resigned her teaching position in 1889 to marry David N. Crosthwaite, the principal of the first all-Black high school in Nashville. In 1895 they moved to Kansas City, where Crosthwaite’s husband had accepted a job teaching at Lincoln High School.

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Sun, 02.09.1902 story

Blanche Calloway, Singer, and Bandleader born

*Blanche Calloway was born on this date in 1902. She was an African American singer and bandleader.

From Baltimore, MD, in 1921, Blanche Calloway (Cab Calloway’s older sister) made her professional debut in the Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle musical Shuffle Along. Later, she sang with her brother’s band for a number of years before forming her own group. After years of slight success, she fronted the Andy Kirk band for a short period, which gave her the momentum to form her most famous orchestra, known as Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys (an all male band.)

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Sun, 08.21.1904 story

Count Basie, Bandleader, and Composer born

It was on this date in 1904, that Count Basie was born. He was an African American American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer.

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Sat, 03.27.1909 story

Ben Webster, Saxophonist born

*On this date in 1909, Ben Webster was born. He was an African- merican jazz arranger who played tenor saxophone and piano.

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Thu, 08.20.1835 story

Black History, and Jazz Music in America, a story

On this date, we focus on Jazz Music in America and the Black culture’s role in creating and influence its existence.

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Fri, 10.31.1902 story

Julia Lee, Blues Singer born

Julia Lee was born on this date in 1902. She was an African American singer and pianist.

Julia Lee was born in Boonville, Missouri and raised in Kansas City, where she attended Lincoln High School. As a child, she performed with her father’s string trio, as well as at neighborhood house parties and church socials. She began her professional musical career singing and playing the piano in her brother’s band, George E. Lee and His Novelty Singing Orchestra.

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Sun, 08.19.1906 story

Eddie Durham, Jazz Musician born

*Eddie Durham was born on this date in 1906. He was an African American musician, composer and inventor.

From San Marcos, Texas, he was the son of Joe Durham who played the fiddle at square dances. Young Durham’s oldest brother, Joe played cello briefly with Nat King Cole, took correspondence lessons and in turn taught Eddie and his other brothers to read and notate music. Together with cousins Allen and Clyde Durham, Durhams and his brother Roosevelt formed the Durham Brothers Band around 1920. They were later joined in Dallas by another cousin, Herschel Evans a tenor saxophonist.

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Fri, 12.02.1938 story

Reginald Buckner, Jazz Ambasador born

*Reginald Bucker was born on this date in 1938.  He was a Black musician and educator.   Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Reginal Tyrone Buckner grew up with an appreciation for the central location where many Jazz musicians of yore started.  He also was raised in the Strangers Rest Baptist church community.  Buckner was exposed […]

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