Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Mon, 01.27.1908

‘Hot Lips’ Page, Jazz Musician Born

'Hot Lips' Page

*'Hot Lips' Page was born on this date in 1908. He was a Black jazz trumpeter, singer, and bandleader.

Oran Thaddeus Page was born to a schoolteacher and musician mother in Dallas, Texas. He moved with his mother to Corsicana, where he began attending Corsicana High School and later Texas College while working in the oilfields. His earliest musical gigs were in circuses and minstrel shows while backing blues singers such as Ma RaineyBessie Smith, and Ida Cox. Page's main trumpet influence was Louis Armstrong.

In the mid-1920s, while still a teenager, Page claimed to have appeared around 1925 with a band in Shreveport, Louisiana, known as Goog and His Jazz Babies and with a band in New Orleans known as French's Jazz Orchestra, though no documentation has been discovered. In 1926, he joined the Oklahoma City Blue Devils. He played and toured with the Blue Devils until early 1931 when he joined the Bennie Moten Orchestra, the leading dance band of Kansas City.

Page then appeared as a vocalist, emcee, and hot trumpet soloist with Count Basie's Reno Club orchestra. Page moved to Kansas City in early 1931. The Reno Club in downtown Kansas City had a floor show, which included Page and vocalist Jimmy Rushing. Page then decided to pursue a solo career. He moved to New York City in December 1936. Page's career as a bandleader had sold-out appearances and an extended run at Smalls Paradise in the summer of 1937, on New York's 52nd street, where he appeared from 1938 or 1939, and in many venues in Harlem. Page toured nationally and throughout Canada at the head of as many as 13 big bands during the 1930s and 1940s.

He appeared briefly with Bud Freeman's Orchestra in 1938 and was a featured vocalist and hot soloist with Artie Shaw's Symphonic Swing Orchestra in 1941 and 1942, with whom he recorded more than 40 sides. He led the house band at the Apollo Theater during the early 1940s. Page recorded duets with Pearl Bailey on "The Hucklebuck" and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in 1949. He traveled to Europe in 1949 and returned to Europe at least twice for extended tours in the early 1950s. He was one of the most flexible trumpeters, demonstrating a broad tone and various instruments.

He is considered by many to be one of the founders of what came to be known as rhythm and blues. 'Hot Lips' Page, a scorching soloist and powerful vocalist, died on November 5, 1954., aged 46.

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

From deep sleep I sat upright And clutched his new lapels, For he was laughing. Back from the dead He came, I say, Laughing I asked not "Are you not dead?" But "What is it?" His talcum chin, And pebbles eyes, And... NIGHTMARE by James Emanuel.
Read More