Skip to Content

Eddie Durham Studies

Eddie Durham Website

Video Chapter Headings

1.    Eddie’s Father: “fiddlesticks”, cigar boxes, Rattlesnakes, and catgut

2.    Eddie’s big brother and the Durham Brothers Orchestra

•    Doug Morgan’s Dramatic Show
•    Oklahoma’s 101 Ranch Show
•    15 piece African American band
•    9 piece minstrel show
•    after hours white musicians joined black musicians  - Eddie wrote arrangements they would do read thrus

3.    Eddie’s first bands and wild west and traveling circus gigs – first chance to arrange
1st time - 4 trombones
travelled to Chicago and heard Louis Armstrong (use Eddie’s recording)

4.    Eddie and “touring bands” “Western Territory Bands” 

Gene Coy’s Black Aces
Chauncey Donn’s Rinky Dinks
George E. Lee
S. E. Stone
Andy Kirk’s Clouds of Joy w Freddie Green and brother Allen Durham

5.    1928  The Walter Page Blue Devils – showcased his skills and catapult him to the center of the burgeoning jazz scene – symbolic of the western swing tradition
Count Basie Hot Lips Page Walter Page Buster Smith Dan Minor Alvin Burroughs drum
Jimmy Rushing vocals
went to Kansas City and encountered Bennie Moten’s Band
Moten took several players and turned a hybrid band of the best of both

6.    Eddie joined in 1929 arranged for Moten – very important new sound

7.    1932 last Moten arrangements were very avaunt guarde a decade ahead of their time
Eddie had a unique style
Moten had a Victor contract so there is a clear time line of development
Also a young Count Basie collaborated
1932 Moten’s Swing thematic start of 1930’s Big Band Music
December – new feeling of rhythm 4/4 flat footed swing

8.    Eddie leaves Moten’s band before he died, and went to NYC
arranger in demand Cab Calloway, Willie Bryant
brought the “western” feel and fresh perspective later called the “Kansas City” sound

9.    Eddie becomes a major arranger for the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra 1935 36 37
Eddie does a lot of writing
also known as “The Harlem Express” also a “show” band as well as great music
Eddie choreographer for trombone to be showy

10.    Electrically amplified “whammy” bar precursor