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Jimmy Witherspoon

On 08/08/1920: Jimmy Witherspoon was born. He was born in Gurdon, Arkansas and his full birth name was James Witherspoon.
He first started to make a name for himself singing with Teddy Weatherford's band in Calcutta, India, who made regular broadcasts on US Armed Forces Radio during World War II.
In 1945 he made his first records with Jay McShann's band.
In 1947 he recorded under his own name for the first time.
In 1949 together with the McShann band, they had a hit with "Ain't Nobody's Business".
In 1950 he had hits with "No Rollin' Blues","Big Fine Girl" which were recorded live with the Gene Gilbeaux Orchestra, at a "Just Jazz" concert on May 10, 1949, for the Modern Records Label.
His style of "blues shouter" became less popular in the mid-1950s. In 1959 he had a return to popularity with the album "Jimmy Witherspoon at the Monterey Jazz Festival" released. The album featured Roy Eldridge, Woody Herman, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines and Mel Lewis, among others.
In 1961 he toured Europe with Buck Clayton. He would return to the UK many times.
In 1966 he featured on UK recording "Spoon Sings and Swings" with Dick Morrisey's quartet.
In 1970 he appeared on "To Seek a New Home" with Brother Jack McDuff on a London recording for Blue Note records.
In 1971 he featured on the album "Guilty" with Eric Burdon, which also featured Ike White & the San Quentin Prison Band.
He formed his own band, which included Robben Ford and Russ Ferrante and went on tour.
He continued performing and recording into the 1990s.
Other artist with whom Witherspoon recorded in his career include: Gerry Mulligan, Leroy Vinnegar, Richard "Groove" Holmes, T-Bone Walker, Joe Sample, Cornell Dupree, Thad Jones, Bernard Purdie, Jimmy Rowles, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Vernon Alley, Mel Lewis, Teddy Edwards, Gerald Wiggins, John Clayton, Paul Humphrey, Pepper Adams, Kenny Burrell, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Jimmy Smith, Long John Baldry, Junior Mance, Ellington bassist Jimmy Woode, Kenny Clarke, Gerry Mulligan, Jim Mullen, Count Basie, Van Morrison, Dutch Swing College Band, Gene Gilbeaux and others.
In 1997 Witherspoon died of throat cancer in Los Angeles, California.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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