Eddie Durham

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Eddie Durham
Born (1906-08-19)August 19, 1906
San Marcos, Texas, U.S.
Died March 6, 1987(1987-03-06) (aged 80)
New York City
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, arranger
Instruments Guitar, trombone
Years active 1920s–1980s
Labels RCA
Associated acts Walter Page, Bennie Moten, Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie

Eddie Durham (19 August 1906 – 6 March 1987) was an American musician who pioneered the use of the electric guitar in jazz. He was a guitarist, trombonist, composer, and arranger for the orchestras of Bennie Moten, Jimmie Lunceford, and Count Basie. With Edgar Battle he composed "Topsy", which was recorded by Count Basie and became a hit for Benny Goodman. In 1938 Durham co-wrote "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire", with Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus and Eddie Seiler. During the 1940s, Durham created Eddie Durham's All-Star Girl Orchestra, an African-American all female swing band that toured the United States and Canada[1].

Pioneer on the electric guitar[edit]

From 1929, Durham started experimenting to enhance the sound of his guitar using resonators and megaphones. In 1935 he was the first to record an electrically amplified guitar[2] with Jimmie Lunceford in 'Hittin' The Bottle' that was recorded in New York for the Decca label.[3]

Selected discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Eddie Durham (RCA, 1973–1974)
  • Blue Bone (JSP, 1981)

As sideman[edit]

Selected arrangements[edit]

  • Bennie Moten: "Moten Swing" (Victor, 1932)
  • Jimmie Lunceford: "Avalon" (Decca, 1935)
    • "Hittin' the Bottle" (Decca, 1935)
    • "Harlem Shout" (Decca, 1936)
    • "Lunceford Special" (Vocalion, 1935)
  • Count Basie: "Time Out" (Decca, 1937)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Daniels, Douglas Henry (2006). One O'Clock Jump: The Unforgettable History of the Oklahoma City Blue Devils. Boston: Beacon Press. pp. 193–197. 
  2. ^ Zelade, Richard (1987). Lone Star Travel Guide to Texas Hill Country. Plymouth: Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-58979609-6. 
  3. ^ Abrams, Steve (September 5, 2015). "Decca (USA) 500 - 1000 Numerical Listing". The Online Discographical Project. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  4. ^ Vacher, Peter (2002). Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 674. ISBN 1-56159-284-6. 

External links[edit]