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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eddie Durham
Born(1906-08-19)August 19, 1906
San Marcos, Texas, U.S.
DiedMarch 6, 1987(1987-03-06) (aged 80)
New York City
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger
InstrumentsGuitar, trombone
Years active1920s–1980s
Associated actsWalter Page, Bennie Moten, Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie

Eddie Durham (August 19, 1906 – March 6, 1987) was an American jazz guitarist who was one of the pioneers of the electric guitar in jazz.[1] He was a guitarist, trombonist, composer, and arranger for the orchestras of Bennie Moten, Jimmie Lunceford, and Count Basie.[1]

With Edgar Battle he composed "Topsy", which was recorded by Count Basie and became a hit for Benny Goodman.[1]

In 1938, Durham wrote "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" with Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus, and Eddie Seiler. During the 1940s, Durham created Eddie Durham's All-Star Girl Orchestra, an African-American all female swing band that toured the United States and Canada.[2]

Early life

Durham was born in San Marcos, Texas on August 19, 1906 to Joseph Durham, Sr., and Luella Rabb (nee Mohawk) Durham. From an early age, Durham performed with his family in the Durham Brothers Band. At the age of eighteen, Eddie began traveling and playing in regional bands.

Pioneer on the electric guitar

From 1929, Durham started experimenting to enhance the sound of his guitar using resonators and megaphones. In 1935, he was the first to record an electrically amplified guitar[3] with Jimmie Lunceford in "Hittin' the Bottle" that was recorded in New York for Decca.[4] In 1938, Durham recorded single string electric guitar solos with the Kansas City Five (or Six), which were both smallish groups that included members of Count Basie's rhythm section alongside with the tenor saxophone playing of Lester Young.[5]


As leader

  • Eddie Durham (RCA, 1974)
  • Blue Bone (JSP, 1981)

As sideman

Selected arrangements

  • Bennie Moten: "Moten Swing" (Victor, 1932)
  • Jimmie Lunceford: "Avalon" (Decca, 1935)
    • "Hittin' the Bottle" (Decca, 1935)
    • "Harlem Shout" (Decca, 1936)
    • "Lunceford Special" (Vocalion, 1935)
  • Count Basie: "Time Out" (Decca, 1937)

See also


  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 115/6. ISBN 1-85227-937-0.
  2. ^ Daniels, Douglas Henry (2006). One O'Clock Jump: The Unforgettable History of the Oklahoma City Blue Devils. Boston: Beacon Press. pp. 193–197.
  3. ^ Zelade, Richard (1987). Lone Star Travel Guide to Texas Hill Country. Plymouth: Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-58979609-6.
  4. ^ Abrams, Steve (September 5, 2015). "Decca (USA) 500 - 1000 Numerical Listing". The Online Discographical Project. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  5. ^ Robert Palmer (1981). Deep Blues. Penguin Books. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-14-006223-6.
  6. ^ Vacher, Peter (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 674. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 December 2020, at 12:25
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