|Born||August 19, 1906|
San Marcos, Texas, U.S.
|Died||March 6, 1987 (aged 80)|
New York City
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, arranger|
|Associated acts||Walter Page, Bennie Moten, Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie|
Eddie Durham (August 19, 1906 – March 6, 1987) was an American jazz guitarist who was one of the pioneers 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.
In 1938, Durham 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.
Durham was born in San Marcos, Texas on August 19, 1906 to Joseph Durham, Sr., and Luella Rabb (nee Mohawk) Durham. From an early age, Durham performed with his family in the Durham Brothers Band. At the age of eighteen, Eddie began traveling and playing in regional bands.
Pioneer on the electric guitar
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 with Jimmie Lunceford in "Hittin' the Bottle" that was recorded in New York for Decca. In 1938, Durham recorded single string electric guitar solos with the Kansas City Five (or Six), which were both smallish groups that included members of Count Basie's rhythm section alongside with the tenor saxophone playing of Lester Young.
- Eddie Barefield, Eddie Barefield (RCA, 1974)
- Jimmie Lunceford, Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra (Decca, 1955)
- Lester Young, Lester Young with the Kansas City Five (Commodore, 1961)
- 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)
- International Sweethearts of Rhythm
- Eddie Durham's All-Star Girl Orchestra
- List of jazz arrangers
- Colin Larkin, ed. (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 115/6. ISBN 1-85227-937-0.
- Daniels, Douglas Henry (2006). One O'Clock Jump: The Unforgettable History of the Oklahoma City Blue Devils. Boston: Beacon Press. pp. 193–197.
- Zelade, Richard (1987). Lone Star Travel Guide to Texas Hill Country. Plymouth: Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-58979609-6.
- Abrams, Steve (September 5, 2015). "Decca (USA) 500 - 1000 Numerical Listing". The Online Discographical Project. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- Robert Palmer (1981). Deep Blues. Penguin Books. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-14-006223-6.
- 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.