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Photograph of Andy Kirk (left) performing with Dick Wilson (tenor saxophone) and Ben Thigpen (drums).

Circa 1925 photograph of Kansas City, Kansas band Paul Banks Syncopating Orchestra, posed with their instruments. Pictured left to right: Clifton Banks, reeds including alto saxophone and clarinet; Miles Pruitt, banjo; Robert Moody, trombone; James Everett, drums; Paul Banks; Ed Lewis, trumpet; Jasper "Jap" Allen, tuba (brass bass).

Photograph of Kansas City jazz pianist Margaret "Countess" Johnson (1919 – 1939). She was active in the 1930's as a teenager in Harlan Leonard's bands and substituting for Count Basie and for Mary Lou William's in Andy Kirk's band.

Photograph of the Lincoln High School Cadet Band and Orchestra posed in front of the school. Major N. Clark Smith, director, is pictured in the back to the right.

Date: 
1920
Big Joe Turner

Photograph of Kansas City blues shouter Joseph Vernon "Big Joe" Turner Jr. Turner performed in Kansas City in the late 1920's and early 1930's before moving to New York City.

Photograph of jazz trumpet player Lammar Wright, who was active in Kansas City from the early 1920's until 1927. He is shown here as the lead trumpeter of Cab Calloway's Orchestra in New York City. This photograph is signed by Wright and addressed to VeEssa Spivey, owner of Kansas City's Black Hawk Barbecue.

Photograph of Kansas City jazz drummer Jesse Price (left) and jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker in the summer of 1938 in Kansas City.

Date: 
1938

Circa 1938 photograph of Tommy Douglas and his orchestra posed in front of their tour bus. The back of the photograph is an advertisement for the band that reads: "'Howdy' Folks, Tommy Douglas and his Band, The finest and fastest Colored Band on the road, Showmen, Vocalists, Musicians - A Real Entertaining Attraction. Remarks:- For Dates :- Write, Park Region Orchestra Service, Battle Lake, Minnesota. Tommy Douglas And His Band Will be tootin' near you soon. You Will Enjoy Them."

Photograph of jazz singer Elmer "Pha" Terrell. He was active in Kansas City, primarily with Andy Kirk and the Twelve Clouds of Joy, from the early 1930's until 1941. This photograph is signed by Terrell and addressed to VeEssa Spivey, owner of Kansas City's Black Hawk Barbecue.

Date: 
June 7th 1945

Photograph of Bennie Moten's Orchestra posed outside. Pictured left to right: are Jimmy Rushing, Jack Washington, Woodie Walder, Count Basie, Leroy Berry, Bus Moten, Eddie Durham, Willie McWashington, Vernon Page, Thamon Hayes, Harlan Leonard, Ed Lewis, Booker Washington, Bennie Moten.

Date: 
1929

Photograph of Joe Sanders seated at the piano.

Photograph with full body view of Sgt. Joe Sanders in military uniform. Taken at Camp Bowie, Texas.

Date: 
1919

Photograph of Count Basie, piano, performing with Samuel "Baby" Lovett, drums; Clairborne "Frog" Graves, saxophone; and Jimmy Hill, guitar. A tipping "kitty" is shown at left center.

Bennie Moten's Orchestra, with instruments, taken by Bert Photo Studio, ca. 1926. Pictured from left: Thamon Hayes, trombone, Lammar Wright, cornet; Willie McWashington, drums; Leroy "Buster" Berry, banjo; Bennie Moten, piano; Harlan Leonard, reeds; Vernon Page, brass bass; Woody Walder, reeds; LaForest Dent, reeds. Source: Charles Goodwin.

Date: 
1926

Bennie Moten's Radio Orchestra, posed with instruments, ca. 1923. Pictured are Willie Hall (drums), Lammar Wright (trumpet), Bennie Moten (piano), Thamon Hayes (trombone), Woodie Walder (clarinet). Source: Duncan Scheidt.

Date: 
1923

Bennie Moten's Orchestra, with instruments on bandstand, likely to be Paseo Hall, 15th Street and Paseo Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri, c. 1925. Pictured from left: Willie McWashington, drums; LaForest Dent, banjo; Vernon Page, brass bass; Thamon Hayes, trombone; Lammar Wright, cornet; Bennie Moten, piano; Harlan Leonard, alto saxophone; Woody Walder, tenor saxophone. Source: Charles Goodwin.

Date: 
1924

Chauncey Downs' band with Woody Walder (sax) and Ernie Williams at Chauncey Downs Hall (known later as the Casa Loma Ballroom) in the Downs Building at the southeast corner of 18th Street and Prospect Avenue, ca. 1940. Source: Corrine Walder.

Photograph of a big band on stage labeled "Don Juan's All-Spanish Dance Band."

Circa 1920 photograph with interior view of Carleton Coon seated with his drum set in front of a sign: "The Original Coon-Sanders Novelty Orchestra."

Circa 1920 photograph of Joe Sanders on the left and Carleton Coon on the right.

Pages

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.