Kid Ory

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Kid Ory
All-Star-Jazz-Band-1944 (cropped).jpg
Ory in 1944 when with the All Star Jazz Group assembled for the CBS show The Orson Welles Almanac
Background information
Birth name Edouard Ory
Also known as Edward Ory
Born (1886-12-25)December 25, 1886
La Place, Louisiana, United States
Died January 23, 1973(1973-01-23) (aged 86)
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Genres Jazz
Traditional creole
Occupation(s) bandleader, composer, promoter
Instruments Trombone and multi-instrumentalist, vocal
Years active 1910-1971
Labels Columbia, Okeh, Exner, Crescent, Good Time Jazz, Verve
Associated acts Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Ma Rainy, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus
House on Jackson Avenue, New Orleans, Ory's residence in the 1910s
Nesuhi Ertegun founded his first label, Crescent Records, for the express purpose of recording Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band (Crescent Number 1, August 1944)

Edward "Kid" Ory (December 25, 1886 – January 23, 1973) was a jazz trombonist and bandleader. He was born in Woodland Plantation near La Place, Louisiana.


Ory started playing music with home-made instruments in his childhood, and by his teens was leading a well-regarded band in Southeast Louisiana. He kept La Place, Louisiana, as his base of operations due to family obligations until his twenty-first birthday, when he moved his band to New Orleans, Louisiana. He was one of the most influential trombonists of early jazz.

Ory was a banjo player during his youth and it is said that his ability to play the banjo helped him develop "tailgate", a particular style of playing the trombone. In "tailgate" style the trombone plays a rhythmic line underneath the trumpets and cornets.

While Ory was living on Jackson Avenue, he was discovered by Buddy Bolden, playing his first New trombone, instead of the old civil war trombone. But his sister said he was too young to play with Bolden.

Ory had one of the best-known bands in New Orleans in the 1910s, hiring many of the great jazz musicians of the city, including cornetists Joe "King" Oliver, Mutt Carey, and Louis Armstrong, who joined the band in 1919;[1] and clarinetists Johnny Dodds and Jimmie Noone.

In 1919 he moved to Los Angeles[2]—one of a number of New Orleans musicians to do so near that time—and he recorded there in 1921 with a band that included Mutt Carey, clarinetist and pianist Dink Johnson, and string bassist Ed Garland. Garland and Carey were longtime associates who would still be playing with Ory during his 1940s comeback. While in Los Angeles Ory and his band recorded two instrumentals, "Ory's Creole Trombone" and "Society Blues", as well as a number of songs. They were the first jazz recordings made on the west coast by an African-American jazz band from New Orleans. His band recorded with the recording company Nordskog and Ory paid them for the pressings and then sold them under his own label of "Kid Ory's Sunshine Orchestra" at a store in Los Angeles called Spikes Brothers Music Store. In 1925, Ory moved to Chicago, where he was very active, working and recording with Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Oliver, Johnny Dodds, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and many others. He mentored Benny Goodman, and later Charles Mingus.

During the Great Depression Ory retired from music and did not play again until 1943. From 1944 to about 1961 he led one of the top New Orleans style bands of the period. In addition to Mutt Carey and Ed Garland, trumpeters Alvin Alcorn and Teddy Buckner; clarinetists Darnell Howard, Jimmie Noone, Albert Nicholas, Barney Bigard, and George Probert; pianists Buster Wilson, Cedric Haywood, and Don Ewell; and drummer Minor Hall were among his sidemen during this period. All but Probert, Buckner, and Ewell were originally from New Orleans.

The Ory band was an important force in reviving interest in New Orleans jazz, making popular 1940s radio broadcasts—among them a number of slots on The Orson Welles Almanac program (beginning March 15, 1944).[3][4][5] In 1944–45 the group made a series of recordings on the Crescent Records label, founded by Nesuhi Ertegun for the express purpose of recording Ory's band.[6]

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Ory and his group appeared at the Beverly Cavern in Los Angeles.

Ory retired from music in 1966 and spent his last years in Hawaii, with the assistance of Trummy Young. Ory died in Honolulu.[2] He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.


  1. ^ "Jazz Greats of the 1920s" University of Minnesota Duluth. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Kid Ory, 'tailgate' trombonist & composer". African American Registry. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  3. ^ "Radio Almanac". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  4. ^ "Orson Welles Almanac—Part 1". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  5. ^ "Orson Welles Almanac—Part 2". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2014-02-10. 
  6. ^ Ertegun, Nesuhi. Liner notes for Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band. Good Time Jazz Records L-10 and L-11, 1953, also used for Good Time Jazz Records L-12022, 1957.


  • Marcus, Kenneth. Musical Metropolis: Los Angeles and the Creation of Music Culture 1880-1940

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