ARTISTS & PERFORMERS

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Artist Photo Artist Bio
Eddie Lang (October 25, 1902 – March 26, 1933) was an American musician regarded as the father of jazz guitar. He displaced the banjo with the guitar and made it a worthy solo and band instrument. He learned violin at the age of seven, soon adding guitar and banjo. Within a year he was playing all three professionally and in public. In the early 1920s he played with Vic D'Ipplito, Bert Estlow, Charlie Kerr, Bill Lustin's Scranton Sirens, and Red McKenzie's Mound City Blue Blowers. During the 1920s he recorded and performed on radio, often wit... Continue reading
Eddy Duchin (April 1, 1909 – February 9, 1951) was a popular American pianist and bandleader of the 1930s and 1940s, famous for his engaging onstage personality and his elegant piano style. Duchin was born on April 1, 1909 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He was originally a pharmacist before turning full-time to music and beginning his new career with Leo Reisman's orchestra at the Central Park Casino in New York, an elegant nightclub where he became hugely popular in his own right and eventually became the Reisman orchestra's leader by 1932.... Continue reading
Ella Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. After tumultuous teenage years, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country, but most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Fitzgerald's rendition of the nurser... Continue reading
Ella Mae Morse (September 12, 1924 – October 16, 1999) was an American popular singer. She was hired by Jimmy Dorsey when she was 14 years old. In 1942, at the age of 17, she joined Freddie Slack's band, with whom in the same year she recorded "Cow Cow Boogie", the first gold record by Capitol Records. "Mr. Five by Five" was also recorded by Morse with Slack, and they had a hit recording with the song in 1942. She also originated the wartime hit "Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet", which was later popularized by Nancy Walker in the film, Broa... Continue reading
Fats Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) was an American jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano, and whose best-known compositions, "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Honeysuckle Rose", were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1984 and 1999. At the age of 14 he was playing the organ at Harlem's Lincoln Theater and within 12 months he had composed his first rag. Waller ultimately became one of the most popular performers of his e... Continue reading
Fletcher Henderson (December 18, 1897 – December 29, 1952) was an American pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer, important in the development of big band jazz and swing music. He was one of the most prolific black musical arrangers and his influence was vast. Fletcher is ranked along with Duke Ellington as one of the most influential arrangers and band leaders in jazz history, and helped bridge the gap between the Dixieland and swing era. His mother, a teacher, taught him and his brother Horace to play the piano. He began lessons by the... Continue reading
Frank Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants, he began his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. He found success as a solo artist after being signed by Columbia Records in 1943, becoming the idol of the "bobby soxers". He re... Continue reading
Frankie Carle (March 25, 1903 – March 7, 2001), was an American pianist and bandleader. As a very popular bandleader in the 1940s and 1950s, Carle was nicknamed "The Wizard of the Keyboard". "Sunrise Serenade" was Carle's best-known composition, rising to No. 1 in the US in 1938 and selling more than one million copies. Carle started out working with a number of mainstream dance bands. In 1934, he played with Mal Hallett and his orchestra. In 1935, he had his own orchestra and was billed in an ad for one night club as "America's Greatest Pian... Continue reading
Gene Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an American jazz and big band drummer, band leader, actor, and composer. Known for his highly energetic, flamboyant style and for his showmanship, Krupa is considered one of the most influential drummers in jazz history and one of the first major percussive soloists. He studied with Sanford A. Moeller and began playing drums professionally in the mid-1920s with bands in Wisconsin. He broke into the Chicago scene in 1927, when he was picked by MCA to become a member of "Thelma Terry & He... Continue reading
Glen Gray (June 7, 1906 – August 23, 1963) was an American jazz saxophonist and leader of the Casa Loma Orchestra. Gray was born to Lurdie P. and Agnes (Gray) Knoblauch in Roanoke, Illinois. His father was a lifelong railroad worker who died when Glen was two years of age. His widowed mother married George H. DeWilde. Gray graduated from Roanoke High School, where he played basketball. He is said to have joined the Army at seventeen, and two years later he was living at home with his family. He was employed as a bill clerk for the railroad. H... Continue reading
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