Teddy Powell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Teddy Powell
Teddy Powell.jpg
Teddy Powell
Background information
Birth nameTeodoro Paolella
Born(1905-03-01)March 1, 1905
Oakland, California, U.S.
DiedNovember 17, 1993(1993-11-17) (aged 88)
New York City
GenresJazz, swing
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader
LabelsDecca, Bluebird

Teddy Powell (March 1, 1905 – November 17, 1993) was born in Oakland, CA as Teodoro Paolella, and became a respected jazz musician, band leader, composer, and arranger. Some of his compositions were written under the pseudonym Freddy James.

Powell began playing violin when he was eight and picked up the banjo when he was fourteen.[1] During the late 1920s to the early 1930s, he was a member of the Abe Lyman orchestra, taking on the additional tasks of gathering radio bands. He formed the Teddy Powell Orchestra in 1938 and it performed through the 1940s. Powell's sidemen included Tony Aless, Gus Bivona, Pete Candoli, Irving Fazola, and Charlie Ventura, but his best sideman left for better paying work.[2]

After the band folded, Powell wrote music and arrangements. He had hits with "Bewildered" and "If My Heart Could Only Talk". During the latter part of his career, he worked in music publishing.[3]

His Teddy Powell's Lounge on Broad Street in Newark NJ was a hopping and notable club in the early 1950s where black artists received a better welcome than in New York City.[4] After closing his club, Powell became a manager of musical and other night club acts.[5] Powell died on November 17, 1993 in New York City.


  1. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/artist/teddy-powell-mn0000017217
  2. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/artist/teddy-powell-mn0000017217
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Teddy Powell". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  4. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1978/04/09/archives/new-jersey-weekly-in-newark-the-sound-of-jazz.html
  5. ^ http://newarkmemories.com/memories/323.php