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. His dapper appearance earned him the title "Count." When Benny Goodman heard him at Kansas City night spot, he raved over his performance. Then came admission toe the Music Corporation of America (Noble Sissle's band's only other colored member) through Goodman. Sponsored by John Hammond, wealthy Englishman, his triumphs began which have placed him in the top ranks of American entertainers.

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