|Birth name||Shelton Hemphill|
March 16, 1906|
Birmingham, Alabama, US
|Died||January 6, 1960
New York City, New York, US
|Genres||Orchestral jazz, swing, big band|
|Years active||1924–late 1950s|
Shelton "Scad" Hemphill (March 16, 1906 – January 6, 1960) was an American jazz trumpeter whose career lasted from the mid 1920s through the late 1950s.
Born in Alabama's largest city, Birmingham, Hemphill was still in his teens when he played in the band of Fred Longshaw, which accompanied Bessie Smith on recordings in 1924–25. Also in 1924, at age 18, he enrolled at Ohio's Wilberforce University, and was a member of Horace Henderson's student band alongside the likes of Ted and Castor McCord. He moved to New York late in the 1920s, where he played with Benny Carter and Chick Webb before joining the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, playing with this group from 1931 to 1937. He was in Louis Armstrong's band from 1937 to 1944 and Duke Ellington's from 1944 to 1949. In the 1950s, he played occasionally in New York City but left music due to mounting health problems later in the decade.
Shelton Hemphill died in New York City two months and ten days before his 54th birthday. His demise, along with that of blues singer Gladys Bentley, who died twelve days later, was noted in the syndicated column of veteran music critic Ralph J. Gleason.
He is the father of Barry Shelton Hemphill, who spent a career as a vocal artist in the US Army Chorus, retiring at the rank of E-9. Barry Hemphill was also the Artistic Director of The Metropolitan Chorus in Arlington Virginia for 38 years (1977-2015). and has been the Conductor of the renowned Kennedy Center Messiah Sing every December 23 in Washington, DC, for over 20 years.
- "Shelton Hemphill". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, ed. Barry Kernfeld, 1991, p. 514.
- Gleason, Ralph J. "Rhythm Section: Jazz in Music, Not Vaudeville" Longtime jazz and pop columnist mentions that "Shelton Hemphill, a trumpeter who used to be with Ellington, died recently, and so did Gladys Bentley, an entertainer" (The Milwaukee Journal, March 26, 1960, pages 1–2)
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