Life and career
He was born in Dallas, Texas, and played for a local church orchestra in his teens before joining local band the Blue Moon Chasers and then, in 1927, his first major professional engagement as a member of Walter Page's Blue Devils. In 1929 he joined another band, the Blues Syncopaters led by Ben Smith, and also worked around the same time in bands led by Earl Dykes, Gene Coy, Lloyd Hunter and Alphonse Trent. In 1931, he joined the Bennie Moten band.
He remained with the band after Moten's death in 1935, when its leadership was taken over by Count Basie, and stayed with the Basie orchestra until 1941. During that period he performed at the From Spirituals to Swing concerts in New York City in 1938 and 1939. However, Minor tended to be overshadowed by other trombonists such as Benny Morton and Vic Dickenson, and rarely took solos. He joined the Buddy Johnson band in 1942, and also played around that time with Cab Calloway. He worked with Mercer Ellington in 1945, and also recorded and played with Lucky Millinder and Willie Bryant.
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With Count Basie
- The Original American Decca Recordings (GRP, 1937-39 )
- Biography by Alex Daboub at The Handbook of Texas Online
- Biography by Scott Yanow at Allmusic.com
- From Spirituals to Swing, liner notes, Definitive Records CD reissue, 2001