Shelton Hemphill

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Shelton Hemphill
Al Sears, Junior Raglin, Shelton Hemphill, Junior Raglin, Django Reinhardt, Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges, Aquarium, NYC, ca. November 1946.jpg
Al Sears, Shelton Hemphill, Junior Raglin, Django Reinhardt, Lawrence Brown, Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges at the Aquarium Jazz Club on 52nd Street in Manhattan, ca. November 1946
Background information
Birth nameShelton Hemphill
Born(1906-03-16)March 16, 1906
Birmingham, Alabama, US
DiedJanuary 6, 1960(1960-01-06) (aged 53)
New York City, New York, US
GenresOrchestral jazz, swing, big band
Occupation(s)Jazz trumpeter
Years active1924–late 1950s
Associated acts

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.[1]

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.[2]

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.


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