|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 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.
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.
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 the Decca label. 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.
- Kansas City Five: "Good Mornin' Blues" (Commodore, 1938)
- Kansas City Six: "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" (Commodore, 1938)
- "Countless Blues" (Commodore, 1938)
- Eddie Barefield: Eddie Barefield (RCA, 1973)
- Count Basie: The Original American Decca Recordings (GRP, 1992)
- 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)
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