During the heyday of the swing era, many big bands flourished. Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, and Chick Webb fronted big bands that could swing, but none of these legends could swing like the Count Basie Orchestra. Count Basie proved that a big band could still swing, without losing the spontaneity so essential to jazz.
William James Basie was born August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey (Hare, par. 3). His father was a coachman and caretaker for a wealthy judge, and his mother took in laundry to help with the family's financial situation. Between the two of them, there was enough money to pay for piano lessons for young William (Morgenstern, pars. 1-2).
Young Basie longed for a life in showbiz. He quit school early on, and eventually wound up in New York City in 1924 (Murray 45-48). It was in Harlem where Basie met the great stride piano player Fats Waller (Biographies, par. 2). Waller informally taught Basie the intricacies of the organ and introduced him to other stride luminaries James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith (Dance 9). These early influences would have a lasting impact on Basie, contributing a great deal to his distinctive minimalist style.
Basie began his professional music career in the vaudeville circuit within New York (Carattini, par. 2). He toured around the country for several years with various vaudeville acts. In 1927, while touring with the Theater Owners Booking Association or TOBA, under the leadership of Gonzell White, Basie ended up stranded in Kansas City, Missouri when W...
... middle of paper ...
..., and His Famous Piano Playing in the World of Jazz. 9 Nov. 2006 < http://de.essortment.com/biographywillia_rgyr.htm>.
Count Basie: The First Leader of a Kansas City Style Swing Band to Rise to National Fame. Swingmusic.net. 9 Nov. 2006 .
Dance, Stanley. The World of Count Basie. New York: Da Capo, 1980.
Hare, Glenn. "Grammy-Nominated Vocalist Nnenna Freelon to Sing, Count Basie Orchestra to Play Brooks Center." ClemsoNews. 6 Jan. 2005. 13 Nov. 2006 .
Jazz. Dir. Ken Jazz. Writ. Geoffrey Ward. Florentine, 2000.
Morgenstern, Dan. "A Tale of Three Cities: Red Bank, Kansas City and New York." One More Once': A Centennial Celebration of the Life and Music of Count Basie. 2004. Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers U. 9 Nov. 2006 .
Murray, Albert. Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie. New York: Random, 1985.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- There are numerous psychologists that have made huge impacts and stand out in the world we live in. Some of these people include Skinner, Maslow, and Freud, people that everyone knows. However, a person who stands out in American psychology is William James. Even though his name is not known to everyone, he had many large contributions in psychology. He wrote two books, contributed to the James-Lange Theory of Emotion, impacted pragmatism, and functionalism. When he was just eight years old, he was better in mathematics than his “genius” father was.... [tags: father of American Psychology]
797 words (2.3 pages)
- William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564. No one is absolutely sure when he was actually born. It is guessed that he was born on April 21 or April 23, 1564 since children were usually baptized a few days after they were born. He could have been born April 22 & died April 22 or 23, 1616. William Shakespeare was quite possibly both born & passed on Jeremaya Silvah’s birthday. My birthday is coincidentally April 22. Could be an interesting past life connection with symbology of the #22.... [tags: king james, london]
1217 words (3.5 pages)
- Biography of James Thurber On December 8, 1894 Charles L. Thurber and Mary Agnes Fisher Thurber had a child. His name was James Thurber. Thurber would grow up to become a world known humorist writer. Thurber’s father was a civil clerk and his mother had no job but was said to have been an eccentric woman. Thurber once said when he was eighty, “she never stopped performing and she always played pranks on friends and relatives” (Hayes 56: 156). Born in Columbus, Ohio Thurber was limited to focus on expanding his creativity as a child as a childhood injury would prevent him from ever playing sports (Heller 6: 2326-2331).... [tags: American Cartoonist, Journalist, Playwright]
1471 words (4.2 pages)
- Biographical Summary James Hogg was born and raised in Scotland on his family farm. Hogg only went to school for a few months due to the family bankruptcy. This caused his early introduction into literature to be consisted of the Bible and the stories he was told from his mother and uncle. When he grew older, Hogg received a job as a Shepard’s assistant from James Laidlaw. While working there, Laidlaw taught Hogg how to read, using newspapers and countless theological materials. As Hogg became increasingly better at reading and writing, Laidlaw allowed him to use Laidlaw’s own library, in order to continue his reading career.... [tags: James Hogg Biography]
1712 words (4.9 pages)
- “The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play ‘Drop the Handkerchief.’” (James Naismith Quotes). In November, 1861, the inventor of “basketball” was born in Almonte, Ontario, Canada (Biography of James Naismith). But it never crossed his mind that he’d be the creator of one of the most popular world-wide sports known to man (James Naismith…:Inventor of Basketball). Dr. James Naismith had the body foundation of a fine athlete. As he matured, he developed characteristics of a modest, down-to-earth man.... [tags: basketball, invention, athlete, sports]
2146 words (6.1 pages)
- Like his close friend Thomas Jefferson, James Madison came from a prosperous family of Virginia planters, received an excellent education, and studied law "though only informally" and quickly found himself drawn into the debates over independence. In 1776, he became a delegate to the revolutionary Virginia Convention, where he worked closely with Thomas Jefferson to push through religious freedom statutes, among other liberal measures. The youngest member of the Continental Congress, Madison was of smaller than average height for a Virginian of the period; reports have him standing either five feet four or five feet six inches tall.... [tags: Biography]
979 words (2.8 pages)
- Biography of William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was a playwrite in England. The Merchant of Veniceis one of his many “comedies.” Some scholars however, have made the argument that the play is one of his tragedies. Other tragedies of Shakespeare include Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare lived in a time when Jews had been expelled from England for over three centuries. However, as a playwrite, Shakespeare also probably faced much prejudice and hatred—theater was banned from his home town of London during his lifetime and so the theaters had to move outside of the city walls.... [tags: William Shakespeare Writers Playwrights Essays]
341 words (1 pages)
- Biography of William Faulkner William Faulkner was an enormous man in literature despite the fact that he stood less than five foot six. He reshaped the way in which the world views literature today. Faulkner was one of the greatest influences to American culture of his time. In fact, his influence spread throughout many years to come. Faulkner started out as a child with a dream, and with this dream he redefined the literary society of America. William Cuthbert Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897, in New Albany, Mississippi.... [tags: Biography Faulkner Writer Author]
960 words (2.7 pages)
- William Shakespeare's Biography On an April night unknown, in 1564, at a humble home in Henley St. in the quiet town of Stratford, England Isle of Wight, John and Mary Shakespeare gave birth to a poet. William Shakespeare was born on what is believed to be the 23rd of April the feast day of patron saint the dragon-slayer St. George, and though there are no known records either to confirm or deny, this date was subsequently accepted, has been established, and is widely celebrated as the day of both his birth and his death.... [tags: Biography Essays]
893 words (2.6 pages)
- "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players." (www.ise.uvic.ca) This quote, written by William Shakespeare, illustrates that everybody is a little part of the big world, merely playing his or her "role" as a human. It very much describes the bard himself, being a little part of that "stage". Although his part was small, he still made an incredible impact. William Shakespeare was a fabulous playwright, writing great plays and putting forth ultimate effort. Shakespeare's early life shaped him into what we know him as today.... [tags: Biography]
1268 words (3.6 pages)