Earl Coleman (singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Earl Coleman
Born (1925-08-12)August 12, 1925
Port Huron, Michigan, U.S.
Died July 12, 1995(1995-07-12) (aged 69)
Port Huron, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Jazz singer
Years active 1939-1995, his death
Spouse(s) Marilyn Coleman, ?-1995, his death (2 children, 1 stepchild)
Children Kevin Coleman and Dana Coleman; also stepdaughter Marci Allen-Koutsailis

Earl Coleman (born Port Huron, Michigan, August 12, 1925; died New York City, July 12, 1995) was a jazz singer.

Life and career[edit]

Moving to Indianapolis in 1939, he started singing with Ernie Fields and Bardu Ali. Coleman joined the Jay McShann band in 1943 and later sang with Earl Hines, the Billy Eckstine Orchestra and King Kolax. He then went with McShann to California and recorded with Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro and Max Roach in 1948.

In 1954, he worked with Gene Ammons and recorded with Art Farmer and Gigi Gryce. In 1956 he was with Sonny Rollins.

By 1960 he was recording as a leader and performed with Gerald Wilson. In 1962 he was with Don Byas in Paris and in the mid-60s with Billy Taylor and Frank Foster.[1]

Family and personal life[edit]

By 1980–86 he was recording with organist Shirley Scott. As a youngster and young man, young Coleman lived with his mother, Adell, his grandmother, Mary Chalk, his step-grandfather Harry Chalk, and his aunt, Mary Chalk Washington Scott.

He was booked at a local hotel-bar near Denver, Colorado, circa 1980s. During his stay, he met his cousins Cleotha Brown Bell from Mississippi and Clementine Washington Pigford from Denver. Other relatives in Denver included his cousins Eugene Washington and Vernie Lee Scott from Mississippi. Earl's cousin, Revell Washington, was living in Minnesota at that time.

Coleman was married to actress Marilyn Coleman; they had two children together, son Kevin Coleman, daughter Kia Coleman; he also had a stepdaughter, Marci Allen-Koutsialis, from his wife's previous marriage to jazz percussionist George Allen. Marilyn herself died on June 25, 2013 [2]


with Sonny Rollins