Bennie Moten Orchestra

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7
Object Type: 
Photographs

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.

Object Type: 
Photographs

Photograph of Bennie Moten’s Orchestra at Pearl Theatre in Philadelphia, PA, 1931. Pictured from left: Jimmy Rushing, vocals; Hot Lips Page, trumpet; Willie McWashington, drums; Booker Washington, trumpet; Ed Lewis, trumpet; Count Basie, piano; Buster Moten, accordian; Leroy "Buster" Berry, banjo; Thamon Hayes, trombone; Bennie Moten, piano; Harland Leonard, reeds; Eddie Durham, trombone; Jack Washington, reeds; Vernon Page, tuba; Woodie Walder, reeds.

Object Type: 
Photographs

Circa 1931 photograph of the Bennie Moten Orchestra posed in front of the Fairyland Park stage at the southeast corner of Prospect Avenue and 75th Street. Pictured in bottom row are Count Basie, Hot Lips Page, Ed Lewis, Eddie Durham, Woodie Walder, Leroy Berry, Harlan Leonard, and Jack Washington (second, third fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and twelfth from left, respectively). Top row, from left are Bennie Moten, Bus Moten, and James Rushing.

Object Type: 
Photographs

Photograph of Bennie Moten, standing in second row at right, and his band pose with their tour bus in front of a music shop.

Object Type: 
Photographs

Panoramic photograph of the bands of the Musicians Protective Union Local 627, assembled for the annual Battle of the Bands at Paseo Hall, followed by a parade to the Musicians Association Building at 1823 Highland Avenue, where this picture was taken. The eight contestant bands pictured are Bennie Moten and George Lee's orchestras, Elmer Payne's Music Masters, Paul Banks's Rhythm Aces, Andy Kirk's 12 Clouds of Joy, Jap Allen's Troubadours, Julius Banks's Red Devils, and Bill Little and His Little Bills.

Object Type: 
Photographs

Photograph of Bennie Moten's Orchestra on a stage with their instruments. Pictured, bottom row from left: Mack Washington, drums; Thamon Hayes, trombone; Ed Lewis, 1st trumpet; Paul Webster, 2nd trumpet; Leroy "Bus" Berry, banjo; Harlem Leonard, 1st saxophone; Woodie Waldon, 2nd saxophone; Jack Washington, 3rd saxophone. Pictured, top row from left: Vernon Page, bass; Bennie Moten, piano; "Tiny" Taylor, director & entertainer.

Author: 
Marc Rice
Truman State University

When people think of Kansas City jazz in the 1920s and ‘30s, certain images come to mind: political corruption, gangster activity, and music that catered to and benefited from this type of environment. But vice and corruption were not the only elements that made the city a center of innovative music. The black middle and upper classes also supported the music and the musicians, especially at dance halls such as the Paseo Hall. And there were black organizations such as the NAACP, men’s groups like the Elks Lodge, and ladies’ groups like the 12 Charity Girls, who organized formal dances to raise funds for various institutions in the community.

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.