Hayes Pillars

        Jazz saxophone and orchestra leader


        Death:                          August 11, 1992

        Birthplace:                    Little Rock, Arkansas

        Date of Interview:         1981

        Place of Interview:        Narrator’s Home

        Interviewer:                  Charles E. Rose


Hayes Pillars began playing saxophone as a teenager.  In January 1934 he and his friend, James Jeter, organized the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra while in Cleveland, OH.  On July 4, 1934 the orchestra came to play a six-week engagement at the Club Plantation in St. Louis; they were so popular they stayed eleven years.  The group also played at the Club Riviera on Delmar Blvd as well as at the Apollo Theater in New York, and at jazz clubs in Chicago.  After the group disbanded, Mr. Pillars continued to play for more than thirty years for private parties and in area country clubs.  He retired in the early 1980’s.  In 1981, the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. honored him for his contributions to American Jazz.

For the table of contents for the Interview of Hayes Pillars, please click on this link:  Oral History and Research Materials:  Hayes Pillars

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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Updated by Kristin Walker
April 2005