Eddie Durham

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Eddie Durham
Born(1906-08-19)August 19, 1906
San Marcos, Texas, U.S.
DiedMarch 6, 1987(1987-03-06) (aged 80)
New York City
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger
InstrumentsGuitar, trombone
Years active1920s–1980s
Associated actsWalter 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.

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]