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*Edgar Sampson was born on this date in 1907. He was a Black musician and arranger.
Edgar Melvin Sampson was born in New York City. As a young man he played alto saxophone and violin in a number of bands during the 20s and 30s, including Duke Ellington, Rex Stewart and Fletcher Henderson. His most notable period as a player was the two-years he spent with Chick Webb that began in 1934. Separate from writing outstanding arrangements of popular songs for the Webb band he also composed several tunes that became jazz standards.
Among them were "Stompin' At The Savoy", "Don't Be That Way" (later adopted by Benny Goodman as his theme song), "If Dreams Come True" and "Blue Lou". After leaving Webb Sampson wrote for him and several others, including Goodman, Artie Shaw and Teddy Wilson. He also played alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. He briefly led his own big band in the late 40s and early 50s, then forming small groups. Sampson is often overlooked in accounts of the development of big band jazz arrangements.
Sampson's work bears favorable comparison with that of the better-known arrangers of the period. In the 50s and early 60s he wrote for Tito Puente and several other popular Latin bands. Edgar Sampson one of the outstanding arrangers in big band jazz, died on January 16, 1973 in Englewood, New Jersey.