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Erskine Hawkins

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Role  Composer
Name  Erskine Hawkins

Instruments  trumpet
Genres  swing, big band
Erskine Hawkins no 14 Rhythm is Our Business from
Born  July 26, 1914 (1914-07-26)
Occupation(s)  trumpet player, bandleader
Labels  Vocalion Records, RCA Records
Died  November 11, 1993, Willingboro, New Jersey, United States
Albums  Swingin' In Harlem, Blackout
Awards  Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award
Similar People  Avery Parrish, Buddy Feyne, Jimmie Lunceford, Lucky Millinder, Woody Herman

Birth name  Erskine Ramsay Hawkins
Education  Alabama State University

Erskine hawkins uproar shout

Erskine Ramsay Hawkins (July 26, 1914 – November 11, 1993) was an American trumpet player and big band leader from Birmingham, Alabama, dubbed "The 20th Century Gabriel". He is most remembered for composing the jazz standard "Tuxedo Junction" (1939) with saxophonist and arranger Bill Johnson. The song became a popular hit during World War II, rising to No. 7 nationally (version by the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra) and to No. 1 nationally (version by the Glenn Miller Orchestra). Vocalists who were featured with Erskine's orchestra include Ida James, Delores Brown and Della Reese. Hawkins was named after Alabama industrialist Erskine Ramsay.


Erskine Hawkins Alabama Music Hall of Fame Erskine Hawkins

after hours erskine hawkins his orchestra with avery parrish piano

Early years

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Erskine Hawkins was named by his parents after Alabama industrialist Erskine Ramsay who was rewarding parents with savings accounts for them for doing so. Hawkins attended Councill Elementary School and Industrial High School (now known as Parker High School) in Birmingham, Alabama. At Industrial High School, he played in the band directed by Fess Whatley, a teacher who trained numerous African-American musicians, many of whom populated the bands of famed band leaders such as Duke Ellington, Lucky Millinder, Louis Armstrong and Skitch Henderson (of the NBC Orchestra.)

The Headliner Years

Erskine Hawkins An Introduction to Erskine Hawkins 19361947 Erskine

During 1936 through 1938, he recorded for Vocalion Records as "Erskine Hawkins and his 'Bama State Collegians". In 1938, he signed with RCA Victor Records and began recording on their Bluebird label as, simply, "Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra".

Erskine Hawkins httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsdd

In the late 1930s Hawkins and his Orchestra were one of the house bands at the Savoy Ballroom. They alternated with the Chick Webb band, and often used Tuxedo Junction as their sign-off song before the next band would take the stage, so that the dancing would continue uninterrupted. Hawkins also engaged in "battles of the bands" with such bandleaders as Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, and Lionel Hampton.

Erskine Hawkins Erskine Hawkins Encyclopedia of Alabama

In the mid 1940s, he was transferred to the main RCA Victor label, recording many of his greatest hits for both labels during this decade. He remained with them until 1950 when he switched over to Coral Records. He continued to record for many years.

Later years

Erskine Hawkins Black Kudos Erskine Hawkins Erskine Ramsay Hawkins July 26

Hawkins was trumpeter and band leader in the lobby bar and show nightclub at The Concord Resort Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, New York from 1967 to 1993 with his last performing group Joe Vitale piano, Dudly Watson bass, Sonny Rossi vocals & clarinet, and George Leary drums . Hawkins died at his home in Willingboro Township, New Jersey in November 1993, after a brief visit with his sister in Alabama before he was able to return to resume playing with his band at the Concord at the age of 79. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, alongside his sister, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Induction into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

Erskine Hawkins Black Kudos Erskine Hawkins Erskine Ramsay Hawkins July 26

In 1978, Erskine Hawkins became one of the first five artists inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. In 1989, he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Hawkins was a contemporary of another Birmingham jazz musician, Sun Ra. The story of the Hawkins legacy continues to be told today, during tours of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Museum, by Ray Reach (Director of Student Jazz Programs) and Frank Adams, (Director of Education, Emeritus) at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.


Erskine Hawkins Black Kudos Erskine Hawkins Erskine Ramsay Hawkins July 26

On his final Sunday night radio show (July 26, 2009) Malcolm Laycock celebrated the 95th anniversary of Hawkins' birth, by featuring music performed by Hawkins. In 2011, the story of Erskine Hawkins and the Bama State Collegians was the subject of a Florida State University Film School MFA Thesis Film "The Collegians", written and directed by Bryan Lewis.


Erskine Hawkins Wikipedia

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