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                   Running Time on Tape                   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


                                  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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Library and Information Services
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Updated by Kristin Walker
May 2005