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Oral History and Research Materials: Leon King

This is the table of contents for the interview of Leon King. It is part of the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive which is located in Lovejoy Library at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

For a complete contents list of all musician interviews for the oral history project, please click on this link: Oral History and Research Materials.

If interested in reviewing these materials from the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive, please contact Therese Dickman, Fine Arts Librarian.

Tape # Side

Time

Subject

1 a

015-127

Biographical; Birth, Parents, Siblings, early life

1 a

128-159

Earliest musical experience- teacher in school; piano
lessons

1 a

160-190

High school - East St. Louis Lincoln; trumpet - 6
months then trombone; first lessons

1 a

191-209

1 a

210-375

Band leader- Harold Pickett, first band job; personnel;
jitney dancing, 1923; tunes played; pay

1 a

376-444

Artisan's Hall, Collinsville, listening to Charlie Creath

1 a

445-506

University of Illinois; band audition, no blacks in band

1 a

507-534

Joined band in Champaign; played dances frats and
sororities

1 a

535-566

Aluminum Ore Co.; father has stroke; stayed home
from school

1 a

567-601

Joined "Bill' Polk's Band; Galesburg, 1927

1 a

602-623

Postal clerk exam, St. Louis

1 a

624-724

Playing with Cecil Scott Orchestra, St. Louis;
personnel; dance halls, Phythian Hall; hours

1 a

725-740

Dewey Jackson Band, 1930; personnel

1 b

004-083

Jackson personnel cont'd; arrangements

1 b

084-118

Where Jackson played, different halls

1 b

119-139

Jackson as leader

1 b

140-201

Playing on riverboat "St. Paul"; pay

1 b

202-212

Marriage

1 b

213-299

1931-34; riverboat "J.R." Marable and Jackson join

1 b

300-336

Towns played along Mississippi River

1 b

337-363

Dewey leaves band to join church

1 b

364-442

Creath and Marable have band; personnel; New Orleans

1 b

443-539

Lunceford Orchestra; leave from Post Office;
personnel; leaves band after two months

1 b

540-550

Back to post office and Marable

1 b

550-556

Noise on tape

1 b

557-573

Mississippi River trips; towns boat stopped in

1 b

574-617

New Orleans; jam sessions, Pelican Hall, musicians

1 b

618-664

Job on boat, pay, living arrangements, food, hours

1 b

665-667

Marable, personality, style

1 b

668-692

New Orleans musicians, Armstrong

1 b

693-718

Marable, Tab Smith; quits band, back to post office

1 b

719-740

Union merger, suspension of Local 44 Charter

2 a

004-150

Union problems cont'd, Castle Ballroom, pay scale,
hard feelings, Lige Shaw-President

2 a

151-243

Louie Armstrong plays with Jackson Band

2 a

244-253

Don Redman band in St. Louis

2 a

254-271

Types of brass mutes

2 a

272-308

Fletcher Henderson in St. Louis, early 1930's

2 a

309-325

Joe Smith, trumpet player

2 a

326-359

Other bands traveling through St. Louis, McKinney's
Cottonpickers

2 a

360-378

Post office, full time, working nights, quit Marable's
band

2 a

379-464

1950, goes on days, George Hudson band; personnel;
changes in music and styles

2 a

465-490

Vocalists with Hudson, Dinah Washington; Hudson as
leader

2 a

491-520

Leaves Hudson, rejoins Jackson, DeBalivere "Strip";
clubs

2 a

521-549

Joe Smith Band at Windemere; personnel

2 a

550-599

Playing on the "Strip"; second marriage; "The Barrel
Club"; music - Dixieland

2 a

600-630

Boats, style of music, Foxtrots - bounce; Captain Joe

2 a

631-664

Marable's Bands, popular tunes, Tab Smith arranger

2 a

665-700

Best bands - Lunceford, Dewey Jackson, best rhythm
section

2 a

701-720

Lunceford Band arrangements, Willie Smith, Joe
Thomas

2 a

721-738

De Balivere, East St. Louis jobs

2 b

009-056

With Dewey Jackson in East St. Louis

2 b

057-142

Jackson going to church choir, sideman

2 b

143-266

Gaslight Square, Singleton Palmer, personnel, Thigpen,
Shaw

2 b

267-284

Opera House, Gaslight Square

2 b

285-321

Eddie Johnson's Band, 1958, before Palmer; personnel

2 b

322-427

Palmer's band, drinking on the job

2 b

428-452

Other bands in Gaslight; demise of Gaslight Square

2 b

453-488

Recording with Palmer; arrangements

2 b

489-499

Norman Mason

2 b

500-529

Left Gaslight 1969; surgery, other jobs

2 b

530-641

First job with Havens and Mississippi Mudcats; 1971-
72; personnel; where band played

2 b

642-664

Milwaukee trip

2 b

667-687

Recording with Mudcats

2 b

688-740

Musicians who impressed or influenced King


E-mail comments and inquiries about the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive to Therese Dickman at tdickma@siue.edu or call 618-650-2695

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