Eddie South

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Eddie South
Background information
Birth nameEdward Otha South
Born(1904-11-27)November 27, 1904
Louisiana, Missouri, U.S.
DiedApril 25, 1962(1962-04-25) (aged 57)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Edward Otha South (November 27, 1904 – April 25, 1962)[1] was an American jazz violinist.


South studied classical music in Budapest, Paris, and Chicago. He turned to jazz because, as a Black musician, there was no room for him in classical music.[2] In the 1920s he was a member of jazz orchestras led by Charlie Elgar, Erskine Tate, and Jimmy Wade.[2][3] From 1928 to 1930, he was touring in Europe with his band, Eddie South's Alabamians,[4] with whom he had already made several records.[5] He recorded during this tour as well. During this tour, the Alabamians had an extended stay in Venice, in 1928, at the Luna Hotel.[6]

He led a band in the early 1930s that included Milt Hinton and Everett Barksdale.[2] In 1937 he recorded in Paris with Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, and Michel Warlop.[2] In 1945 he worked for the studio band at WMGM in New York City.[2] During the 1950s, he was a guest on television with Fran Allison and Dave Garroway and on WGN in Chicago.[2]

On September 2, 2020, The New York Times consulted violinist Mazz Swift, who selected Eddie South's performance of "Black Gypsy" for a feature on "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Violin."[7]


  1. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2332/3. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (2007). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press. p. 617. ISBN 978-0-19-507418-5.
  3. ^ "African-American Registry: Eddie South, violinist of jazz!". Archived from the original on 2006-02-05. Retrieved 2006-05-14.
  4. ^ "Two Guitars : Eddie South & His Alabamians". 20sJazz.com. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Eddie South's Alabamians". Discography of American Historical Recordings. University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  6. ^ Young, Kevin (December 2, 2021). "'And I One of Them'". New York Review of Books. LXVIII (19): 52. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  7. ^ "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Violin". The New York Times. 2020-09-02. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-09-07.


  • Barnett, Anthony (1999). Black Gypsy: The Recordings of Eddie South: An Annotated Discography. Lewes, East Sussex: AB Fable. ISBN 0-907954-26-X.

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