Basie, Count

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The Bennie Moten Orchestra

On September 23, 1923, the Bennie Moten Orchestra made its first recording consisting of eight songs. By strict musical standards, the songs themselves were unrefined and not much removed from existing blues music. But the Bennie Moten Orchestra would soon build upon its earliest recordings to develop a distinct Kansas City style of jazz that later dominated the jazz scene in the late 1930s and 1940s.

William (Count) Basie

In the rich and celebrated musical history of Kansas City, few individuals are more closely associated with hard-swinging, riff-based Kansas City jazz style than Count Basie. The Count Basie Orchestra became both the best known and the longest-lived big band to emerge from this region, and Basie made Kansas City jazz nationally and internationally renowned.

Charlie Parker

Parker was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on August 29, 1920. He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where he played in jazz clubs as a teenager and young man. The local jazz culture based in the Vine Street nightclub district cultivated his talents as a teenager. Indeed, it was during this period that Kansas City made notable contributions to jazz with hometown artists such as Count Basie, Bennie Moten, and Buster Smith.

William James "Count" Basie Musicians' Protective Union Card

Musicians' Protective Union membership card for William "Count" Basie for the year 1933. E. M. Jefferson is listed as the union secretary.

William "Count" Basie

Half length view of William "Count" Basie with caption typed above: "Three years ago, William Basie was organist at a small Kansas City, Mo., theater, after a conservatory training at the University of Kansas. Followed a ten weeks' daily organ radio program, then played one of two pianos featured by Benny Moten's orchestra at the New Harlem (Kansas City), Unanimously elected to lead the band after Moten's death, his popularity skyrocketed.

Toby

10" 78-rpm recording of "Toby", a fox trot by Buster Moten and Eddie Barefield, performed by Bennie Moten and his Orchestra. Members include Count Basie, piano; Oran "Hot Lips” Page, trumpet; Walter Page, bass; Eddie Durham, guitar. Matrix and catalog number: B-10259-B.

Swinging the Blues

10" 78-rpm recording of "Swinging the Blues", a fox trot by Count Basie, performed by Count Basie And His Orchestra. Matrix number: 63289A; Catalog number: 1880 B.

One O'Clock Jump

10" 78-rpm recording of "One O'Clock Jump", a fox trot by Count Basie, performed by Count Basie And His Orchestra. Matrix number: 1363 A; Catalog number: 62332A.

Negro Musicians Association Incorporation Documents

Jackson County Court documents regarding the Decree of Incorporation of the Negro Musicians Association. Documents include the statement that the purpose is to "unite ... the musical profession for the better protection of its members," "to serve the public in furnishing music on all occasionans where it may be required," as well as listing members including Count Basie, Bennie Moten, and Leroy Berry.

Moten’s Swing

10" 78-rpm recording of "Moten’s Swing", a fox trot by Buster Moten and Bennie Moten, performed by Bennie Moten and his Orchestra. Members include Count Basie, piano; Oran "Hot Lips” Page, trumpet; Walter Page, bass; Eddie Durham, guitar. Matrix and catalog number: B-10259-A.

Lafayette

10" 78-rpm recording of "Lafayette", an instrumental fox trot by Count Basie and Eddie Durham, performed by Oran "Hot Lips" Page And His Band. Members include Don Stovall, Don Byas, Eddie Barefield, saxophones and clarinet; Oran "Hot Lips" Page, trumpet; Pete Johnson, piano; John Collins, guitar; Abe Bolar, bass; A. G. Godley, drums. Matrix number: 68334A; Catalog number: 18124 B.

John's Idea

10" 78-rpm recording of "John's Idea", a fox trot by Count Basie, performed by Count Basie And His Orchestra. Matrix number: 1363 B; Catalog number: 62334A.