Coon, Carleton A.

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Radio Pioneers: The Coon-Sanders Nighthawks

As Bennie Moten, George E. Lee, and other African American bandleaders based at 18th and Vine pioneered a new style of jazz, a number of white bands in downtown Kansas City were performing a style of hot jazz modeled after nationally popular white bands. Ironically, while Kansas City would gain renown for its great African American bands that barnstormed across country, it was a white dance band, the Coon-Sanders Nighthawk Orchestra, which first established Kansas City’s national reputation as a jazz center.

Joe Sanders and Carleton Coon at Union Station

Photograph of Joe Sanders with fur coat, bowler hat and spats standing beside Carleton Coon while waiting for a parade to begin. Both are by a car parked at Union Station when the band was welcomed back in Kansas City on December 9, 1927. Photograph taken by "Pat" Murphy of the Kansas City Journal-Post.


Sheet music cover for Hi-Diddle-Diddle, a novelty fox trot song with ukulele accompaniment. Written by Carleton A. Coon, Coon-Sanders Orchestra, and Hal Keidel. Source: Cliff Haliburton.

El Torreon Premier Opening Advertisement

Advertising artwork for El Torreon opening, Dec. 15, 1927. The advertisement reads, "Dance Premier Opening Tonight! With the Original Coon Sanders Victor Recording Orchestra also Phil Baxter Directing El Torreon Orchestra. Ladies-50¢, Gentlemen-75¢. Doors Open 8pm." The El Torreon Ballroom was located at the southeast corner of 31st Street and Gillham Road (now Gillham Plaza). Source: Cliff Haliburton.

Coon-Sanders Novelty Orchestra at Newman Theater

Photograph of the Coon-Sanders Novelty Orchestra at the Newman Theater performing a skit to accompany Charlie Chaplin's film "The Pilgrim".

Coon-Sanders Nighthawks at the Terrace Room

Circa 1930 photograph of the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks at the Terrace Room in the New Yorker Hotel, NYC. Pictured are top row from left: Pope and Richolson; middle row from left: Krebs, Downing, H. Thiell, and Stout; front row from left: Sanders, Coon, Estep, and J. Thiell. An NBC microphone is soon on a stand near them.

Coon-Sanders Nighthawks at The Nighthawk

Circa 1929 photograph of the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks at The Nighthawk, a restaurant in Chicago, IL. Identified from left: Elmer Krebs, bass; Joe Sanders, piano; Carleton Coon, drums; Russ Stout, banjo; Joe Richolson, trumpet; Harold Thiell, reeds; Bob Pope, trumpet; Floyd Estep, reeds; Rex Downing, trombone; John Thiell, reeds.

Coon-Sanders Nighthawks at Plantation Grille

Circa 1923 photograph of the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks posed at the Plantation Grille, Muehlebach Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri. Pictured standing is Carleton Coon and Joe Sanders; seated from left is Kohlman, Nordberg, Estep, Williams, McLean, and J. Thiell.

Carleton Coon Home Motion Picture, Reel 6

A home motion picture created by Carleton Coon, consisting of clips including: Picnic with children; Short segment of "Pop" Estep and other band member in front of Pantages (215 E 12th St KCMO) with posters; "Russ" Stout, Rex Downing, Carleton, and Eula Coon messing around in the country, driving cars, and stopped at gas station; Coon children and dog at home; Clip of Carleton and "Pop" Estep; Carleton and Eula Coon playing golf; Clip of Coon house and Coon children; More picnic footage with swimming pond (possibly Swope Park); Footage of Coon family; Footage o

Carleton Coon Home Motion Picture, Reel 5

A home motion picture created by Carleton Coon, consisting of clips including: Floyd Estep, Downing, Sanders and others on road and working on cars; Downing, Sanders, Richolson, "Pop" Estep on sidewalk in front of Hotel De Soto and John T.

Carleton Coon Home Motion Picture, Reel 4

A home motion picture created by Carleton Coon, consisting of clips including: "Pop" Estep at Harding Home and Museum in Marion OH; Harding Memorial under construction; Band playing baseball in town with children; Home of William McKinley (S.W. corner of 8th St. and Market Ave.

Carleton Coon Home Motion Picture, Reel 3

A home motion picture created by Carleton Coon, consisting of clips including: Footage of band in tour cars; Revolutionary War sites tour in Vincennes IN including Old French Cemetery (205 Church St), Fort Sackville, Home of Alice of Old Vincennes, Harrison Mansion, and The Treaty Tree; Footage from inside car on racetrack; Footage of Indianapolis from Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument with Harold Thiel and Richolson; Unidentified golf club; Footage of Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument; Indianapolis street footage including streetcar and Hook's Drugs; Footage of "P