The Info List - Count Basie

William James "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984)[1] was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By age 16, he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924, he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis
St. Louis
and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten's death in 1935. In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago
for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young
Lester Young
and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison
Harry "Sweets" Edison
and singers Jimmy Rushing, Helen Humes, Thelma Carpenter, and Joe Williams.


1 Biography

1.1 Early life and education 1.2 Early career 1.3 Kansas City years 1.4 John Hammond and first recordings 1.5 New York City and the swing years 1.6 Post-war and later years

2 Marriage, family and death 3 The singers 4 Legacy and honors 5 Representation in other media 6 Discography 7 Filmography 8 Awards

8.1 Grammy Awards 8.2 Grammy Hall of Fame 8.3 Honors and inductions 8.4 National Recording Registry

9 References 10 External links

Biography[edit] Early life and education[edit] William Basie was born to Harvey Lee and Lillian Basie in Red Bank, New Jersey.[2][3] His father worked as a coachman and caretaker for a wealthy judge. After automobiles replaced horses, his father became a groundskeeper and handyman for several wealthy families in the area.[4] Both of his parents had some type of musical background. His father played the mellophone, and his mother played the piano; in fact, she gave Basie his first piano lessons. She took in laundry and baked cakes for sale for a living. She paid 25 cents a lesson for piano instruction for him.[5][6] Not much of a student in school, Basie dreamed of a traveling life, inspired by touring carnivals which came to town. He finished junior high school[7] but spent much of his time at the Palace Theater in Red Bank, where doing occasional chores gained him free admission to performances. He quickly learned to improvise music appropriate to the acts and the silent movies.[8] Though a natural at the piano, Basie preferred drums. Discouraged by the obvious talents of Sonny Greer, who also lived in Red Bank and became Duke Ellington's drummer in 1919, Basie at age 15 switched to piano exclusively.[5] Greer and Basie played together in venues until Greer set out on his professional career. By then, Basie was playing with pick-up groups for dances, resorts, and amateur shows, including Harry Richardson's "Kings of Syncopation".[9] When not playing a gig, he hung out at the local pool hall with other musicians, where he picked up on upcoming play dates and gossip. He got some jobs in Asbury Park at the Jersey Shore, and played at the Hong Kong Inn until a better player took his place.[10] Early career[edit] Around 1920, Basie went to Harlem, a hotbed of jazz, where he lived down the block from the Alhambra Theater. Early after his arrival, he bumped into Sonny Greer, who was by then the drummer for the Washingtonians, Duke Ellington's early band.[11] Soon, Basie met many of the Harlem
musicians who were "making the scene," including Willie "the Lion" Smith and James P. Johnson. Basie toured in several acts between 1925 and 1927, including Katie Krippen and Her Kiddies as part of the Hippity Hop show; on the Keith, the Columbia Burlesque, and the Theater Owners Bookers Association (T.O.B.A.) vaudeville circuits; and as a soloist and accompanist to blues singers Katie Krippen and Gonzelle White.[12][13] His touring took him to Kansas City, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Chicago. Throughout his tours, Basie met many jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong.[14] Before he was 20 years old, he toured extensively on the Keith and TOBA vaudeville circuits as a solo pianist, accompanist, and music director for blues singers, dancers, and comedians. This provided an early training that was to prove significant in his later career.[15] Back in Harlem
in 1925, Basie gained his first steady job at Leroy's, a place known for its piano players and its "cutting contests." The place catered to "uptown celebrities," and typically the band winged every number without sheet music using "head arrangements."[16] He met Fats Waller, who was playing organ at the Lincoln Theater accompanying silent movies, and Waller taught him how to play that instrument. (Basie later played organ at the Eblon Theater in Kansas City).[1] As he did with Duke Ellington, Willie "the Lion" Smith
Willie "the Lion" Smith
helped Basie out during the lean times by arranging gigs at "house-rent parties," introducing him to other leading musicians, and teaching him some piano technique.[17] In 1928, Basie was in Tulsa
and heard Walter Page and his Famous Blue Devils, one of the first big bands, which featured Jimmy Rushing
Jimmy Rushing
on vocals.[18] A few months later, he was invited to join the band, which played mostly in Texas and Oklahoma. It was at this time that he began to be known as "Count" Basie (see Jazz
royalty).[19] Kansas City years[edit] The following year, in 1929, Basie became the pianist with the Bennie Moten band based in Kansas City, inspired by Moten's ambition to raise his band to the level of Duke Ellington's or Fletcher Henderson's.[20] Where the Blue Devils were "snappier" and more "bluesy," the Moten band was more refined and respected, playing in the "Kansas City stomp" style.[21] In addition to playing piano, Basie was co-arranger with Eddie Durham, who notated the music.[22] Their "Moten Swing", which Basie claimed credit for,[23] was widely acclaimed and was an invaluable contribution to the development of swing music, and at one performance at the Pearl Theatre in Philadelphia in December 1932, the theatre opened its door to allow anybody in who wanted to hear the band perform.[24] During a stay in Chicago, Basie recorded with the band. He occasionally played four-hand piano and dual pianos with Moten, who also conducted.[25] The band improved with several personnel changes, including the addition of tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. When the band voted Moten out, Basie took over for several months, calling the group " Count Basie
Count Basie
and his Cherry Blossoms." When his own band folded, he rejoined Moten with a newly re-organized band.[26] A year later, Basie joined Bennie Moten’s band, and played with them until Moten’s death in 1935 from a failed tonsillectomy. When Moten died, the band tried to stay together but couldn't make a go of it. Basie then formed his own nine-piece band, Barons of Rhythm, with many former Moten members including Walter Page (bass), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones
Jo Jones
(drums), Lester Young
Lester Young
(tenor saxophone) and Jimmy Rushing (vocals). The Barons of Rhythm were regulars at the Reno Club and often performed for a live radio broadcast. During a broadcast the announcer wanted to give Basie’s name some style, so he called him "Count." Little did Basie know this touch of royalty would give him proper status and position him with the likes of Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
and Earl Hines. Basie's new band which included many Moten alumni, with the important addition of tenor player Lester Young. They played at the Reno Club and sometimes were broadcast on local radio. Late one night with time to fill, the band started improvising. Basie liked the results and named the piece "One O'Clock Jump."[27] According to Basie, "we hit it with the rhythm section and went into the riffs, and the riffs just stuck. We set the thing up front in D-flat, and then we just went on playing in F." It became his signature tune.[28] John Hammond and first recordings[edit]

Basie and band, with vocalist Ethel Waters, from the film Stage Door Canteen (1943)

At the end of 1936, Basie and his band, now billed as " Count Basie
Count Basie
and His Barons of Rhythm," moved from Kansas City to Chicago, where they honed their repertoire at a long engagement at the Grand Terrace Ballroom.[29] Right from the start, Basie's band was noted for its rhythm section. Another Basie innovation was the use of two tenor saxophone players; at the time, most bands had just one. When Young complained of Herschel Evans' vibrato, Basie placed them on either side of the alto players, and soon had the tenor players engaged in "duels". Many other bands later adapted the split tenor arrangement.[30] In that city in October 1936, the band had a recording session which the producer John Hammond later described as "the only perfect, completely perfect recording session I've ever had anything to do with".[31] Hammond had heard Basie's band by radio and went to Kansas City to check them out.[32] He invited them to record, in performances which were Lester Young's earliest recordings. Those four sides were released on Vocalion Records
Vocalion Records
under the band name of Jones-Smith Incorporated; the sides were "Shoe Shine Boy", "Evening", "Boogie Woogie", and "Lady Be Good". After Vocalion became a subsidiary of Columbia Records
Columbia Records
in 1938, "Boogie Woogie" was released in 1941 as part of a four-record compilation album entitled Boogie Woogie (Columbia album C44).[33] When he made the Vocalion recordings, Basie had already signed with Decca Records, but did not have his first recording session with them until January 1937.[34] By then, Basie's sound was characterized by a "jumping" beat and the contrapuntal accents of his own piano. His personnel around 1937 included: Lester Young
Lester Young
and Herschel Evans
Herschel Evans
(tenor sax), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones
Jo Jones
(drums), Walter Page (bass), Earle Warren (alto sax), Buck Clayton
Buck Clayton
and Harry Edison
Harry Edison
(trumpet), Benny Morton
Benny Morton
and Dickie Wells (trombone).[35] Lester Young, known as "Prez" by the band, came up with nicknames for all the other band members. He called Basie "Holy Man", "Holy Main", and just plain "Holy".[36] Basie favored blues, and he would showcase some of the most notable blues singers of the era after he went to New York: Billie Holiday, Jimmy Rushing, Big Joe Turner, Helen Humes, and Joe Williams. He also hired arrangers who knew how to maximize the band's abilities, such as Eddie Durham and Jimmy Mundy. New York City and the swing years[edit] When Basie took his orchestra to New York in 1937, they made the Woodside Hotel in Harlem
their base (they often rehearsed in its basement).[37] Soon, they were booked at the Roseland Ballroom
Roseland Ballroom
for the Christmas show. Basie recalled a review, which said something like, "We caught the great Count Basie
Count Basie
band which is supposed to be so hot he was going to come in here and set the Roseland on fire. Well, the Roseland is still standing".[38] Compared to the reigning band of Fletcher Henderson, Basie's band lacked polish and presentation.[39] The producer John Hammond continued to advise and encourage the band, and they soon came up with some adjustments, including softer playing, more solos, and more standards. They paced themselves to save their hottest numbers for later in the show, to give the audience a chance to warm up.[40] His first official recordings for Decca followed, under contract to agent MCA, including "Pennies from Heaven" and "Honeysuckle Rose".[41] Hammond introduced Basie to Billie Holiday, whom he invited to sing with the band. (Holiday did not record with Basie, as she had her own record contract and preferred working with small combos).[42] The band's first appearance at the Apollo Theater followed, with the vocalists Holiday and Jimmy Rushing
Jimmy Rushing
getting the most attention.[43] Durham returned to help with arranging and composing, but for the most part, the orchestra worked out its numbers in rehearsal, with Basie guiding the proceedings. There were often no musical notations made. Once the musicians found what they liked, they usually were able to repeat it using their "head arrangements" and collective memory.[44] Next, Basie played at the Savoy, which was noted more for lindy-hopping, while the Roseland was a place for fox-trots and congas.[45] In early 1938, the Savoy was the meeting ground for a "battle of the bands" with Chick Webb's group. Basie had Holiday, and Webb countered with the singer Ella Fitzgerald. As Metronome magazine proclaimed, "Basie's Brilliant Band Conquers Chick's"; the article described the evening:

Throughout the fight, which never let down in its intensity during the whole fray, Chick took the aggressive, with the Count playing along easily and, on the whole, more musically scientifically. Undismayed by Chick's forceful drum beating, which sent the audience into shouts of encouragement and appreciation and casual beads of perspiration to drop from Chick's brow onto the brass cymbals, the Count maintained an attitude of poise and self-assurance. He constantly parried Chick's thundering haymakers with tantalizing runs and arpeggios which teased more and more force from his adversary".[46]

The publicity over the big band battle, before and after, gave the Basie band a boost and wider recognition. Soon after, Benny Goodman recorded their signature "One O'Clock Jump" with his band.[47] A few months later, Holiday left for Artie Shaw's band. Hammond introduced Helen Humes, whom Basie hired; she stayed with Basie for four years.[48] When Eddie Durham left for Glenn Miller's orchestra, he was replaced by Dicky Wells. Basie's 14-man band began playing at the Famous Door, a mid-town nightspot with a CBS
network feed and air conditioning, which Hammond was said to have bought the club in return for their booking Basie steadily throughout the summer of 1938. Their fame took a huge leap.[49] Adding to their play book, Basie received arrangements from Jimmy Mundy
Jimmy Mundy
(who had also worked with Benny Goodman and Earl Hines), particularly for "Cherokee", "Easy Does It", and "Super Chief".[50] In 1939, Basie and his band made a major cross-country tour, including their first West Coast dates. A few months later, Basie quit MCA and signed with the William Morris Agency, who got them better fees.[51] On 19 February 1940, Count Basie
Count Basie
and his Orchestra opened a four-week engagement at Southland in Boston, and they broadcast over the radio on 20 February.[52] On the West Coast, in 1942 the band did a spot in Reveille With Beverly, a musical film starring Ann Miller, and a "Command Performance" for Armed Forces Radio, with Hollywood stars Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Carmen Miranda, Jerry Colonna, and the singer Dinah Shore.[53] Other minor movie spots followed, including Choo Choo Swing, Crazy House, Top Man, Stage Door Canteen, and Hit Parade of 1943.[54] They also continued to record for OKeh Records and Columbia Records.[55] The war years caused a lot of members turn over, and the band worked many play dates with lower pay. Dance hall bookings were down sharply as swing began to fade, the effects of the musicians' strikes of 1942–44 and 1948 began to be felt, and the public's taste grew for singers. Basie occasionally lost some key soloists. However, throughout the 1940s, he maintained a big band that possessed an infectious rhythmic beat, an enthusiastic team spirit, and a long list of inspired and talented jazz soloists.[56] Post-war and later years[edit] The big band era appeared to have ended after the war, and Basie disbanded the group. For a while, he performed in combos, sometimes stretched to an orchestra. In 1950, he headlined the Universal-International
short film "Sugar Chile" Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie
Count Basie
and His Sextet. He reformed his group as a 16-piece orchestra in 1952. Basie credits Billy Eckstine, a top male vocalist of the time, for prompting his return to Big Band. He said that Norman Granz
Norman Granz
got them into the Birdland club and promoted the new band through recordings on the Mercury, Clef, and Verve labels.[57] The jukebox era had begun, and Basie shared the exposure along with early rock'n'roll and rhythm and blues artists. Basie's new band was more of an ensemble group, with fewer solo turns, and relying less on "head" and more on written arrangements. Basie added touches of bebop "so long as it made sense", and he required that "it all had to have feeling". Basie's band was sharing Birdland with such bebop greats as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis. Behind the occasional bebop solos, he always kept his strict rhythmic pulse, "so it doesn't matter what they do up front; the audience gets the beat".[58] Basie also added flute to some numbers, a novelty at the time that became widely copied.[59] Soon, his band was touring and recording again. The new band included: Paul Campbell, Tommy Turrentine, Johnny Letman, Idrees Sulieman, and Joe Newman (trumpet); Jimmy Wilkins, Benny Powell, Matthew Gee (trombone); Paul Quinichette and Floyd "Candy" Johnson (tenor sax); Marshal Royal and Ernie Wilkins
Ernie Wilkins
(alto sax); and Charlie Fowlkes (baritone sax).[60] Down Beat
Down Beat
magazine reported, "(Basie) has managed to assemble an ensemble that can thrill both the listener who remembers 1938 and the youngster who has never before heard a big band like this."[61] In 1957, Basie sued the jazz venue Ball and Chain in Miami over outstanding fees, causing the closure of the venue.[62] In 1958, the band made its first European tour. Jazz
was especially appreciated in France, The Netherlands, and Germany in the 1950s; these countries were the stomping grounds for many expatriate American jazz stars who were either resurrecting their careers or sitting out the years of racial divide in the United States. Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti
began to provide arrangements, notably "Lil Darlin'". By the mid-1950s, Basie's band had become one of the preeminent backing big bands for some of the most prominent jazz vocalists of the time. They also toured with the "Birdland Stars of 1955", whose lineup included Sarah Vaughan, Erroll Garner, Lester Young, George Shearing, and Stan Getz.[63] In 1957, Basie released the live album Count Basie
Count Basie
at Newport. "April in Paris" (arrangement by Wild Bill Davis) was a best-selling instrumental and the title song for the hit album.[64] The Basie band made two tours in the British Isles and on the second, they put on a command performance for Queen Elizabeth II, along with Judy Garland, Vera Lynn, and Mario Lanza.[65] He was a guest on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, a venue also opened to several other black entertainers. In 1959, Basie's band recorded a "greatest hits" double album The Count Basie Story
The Count Basie Story
(Frank Foster, arranger) and "Basie and Eckstine, Inc.": album featuring Billy Eckstine, Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
(as arranger) and the Count Basie
Count Basie
Orchestra. It was released by Roulette Records, then later reissued by Capitol Records. Later that year, Basie appeared on a television special with Fred Astaire, featuring a dance solo to "Sweet Georgia Brown", followed in January 1961 by Basie performing at one of the five John F. Kennedy Inaugural Balls.[66] That summer, Basie and Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
combined forces for the recording First Time! The Count Meets the Duke, each providing four numbers from their play books.[67]

Count Basie
Count Basie
(left) in concert (Cologne 1975)

During the balance of the 1960s, the band kept busy with tours, recordings, television appearances, festivals, Las Vegas shows, and travel abroad, including cruises. Some time around 1964, Basie adopted his trademark yachting cap.[68] Through steady changes in personnel, Basie led the band into the 1980s. Basie made a few more movie appearances, such as the Jerry Lewis film Cinderfella
(1960) and the Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
movie Blazing Saddles (1974), playing a revised arrangement of "April in Paris". During its heyday, The Gong Show
The Gong Show
(1976–80) used Basie's "Jumpin' at the Woodside" during some episodes, while an NBC stagehand named Eugene Patton would dance on stage; Patten became known as "Gene Gene, the Dancing Machine". Marriage, family and death[edit] Basie was a member of Omega Psi Phi
Omega Psi Phi
Fraternity. On 21 July 1930, Basie married Vivian Lee Winn, in Kansas City, Missouri. They were divorced sometime before 1935. Some time in or before 1935, the now single Basie returned to New York City, renting a house at 111 West 138th Street, Manhattan, as evidenced by the 1940 census. He married Catherine Morgan on 13 July 1940 in the King County courthouse in Seattle, Washington. In 1942, they moved to Queens. The Basies bought a whites-only home in the new neighborhood of Addisleigh Park in 1946 on Adelaide Road and 175th Street, St. Albans, Queens.[69] On April 11, 1983, Catherine Basie died of a heart attack at the couple's home in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. She was 67 years old.[70] Count Basie
Count Basie
died of pancreatic cancer in Hollywood, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
on April 26, 1984 at the age of 79.[1] The singers[edit] Basie hitched his star to some of the most famous vocalists of the 1950s and 1960s, which helped keep the Big Band sound alive and added greatly to his recording catalog. Jimmy Rushing
Jimmy Rushing
sang with Basie in the late 1930s. Joe Williams toured with the band and was featured on the 1957 album One O'Clock Jump, and 1956's Count Basie
Count Basie
Swings, Joe Williams Sings, with "Every Day (I Have the Blues)" becoming a huge hit. With Billy Eckstine
Billy Eckstine
on the album Basie/Eckstine Incorporated, in 1959. Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald
made some memorable recordings with Basie, including the 1963 album Ella and Basie!. With the 'New Testament' Basie band in full swing, and arrangements written by a youthful Quincy Jones, this album proved a swinging respite from her Songbook recordings and constant touring she did during this period. She even toured with the Basie Orchestra in the mid-1970s, and Fitzgerald and Basie also met on the 1979 albums A Classy Pair, Digital III at Montreux, and A Perfect Match, the last two also recorded live at Montreux. In addition to Quincy Jones, Basie was using arrangers such as Benny Carter
Benny Carter
(Kansas City Suite), Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti
(The Atomic Mr Basie), and Sammy Nestico
Sammy Nestico
(Basie-Straight Ahead). Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
recorded for the first time with Basie on 1962's Sinatra-Basie
and for a second studio album on 1964's It Might as Well Be Swing, which was arranged by Quincy Jones. Jones also arranged and conducted 1966's live Sinatra at the Sands
Sinatra at the Sands
which featured Sinatra with Count Basie
Count Basie
and his orchestra at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. In May 1970, Sinatra performed in London's Royal Festival Hall
Royal Festival Hall
with the Basie orchestra, in a charity benefit for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Sinatra later said of this concert "I have a funny feeling that those two nights could have been my finest hour, really. It went so well; it was so thrilling and exciting".[71] Basie also recorded with Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
in the late 1950s. Their albums together included In Person and Strike Up the Band. Basie also toured with Bennett, including a date at Carnegie Hall. Other notable recordings were with Sammy Davis, Jr., Bing Crosby, and Sarah Vaughan. One of Basie's biggest regrets was never recording with Louis Armstrong, though they shared the same bill several times.[72] In 1968 Basie and his Band recorded an album with Jackie Wilson
Jackie Wilson
titled "Manufacturers of Soul".[73][74] Legacy and honors[edit]

Count Basie Theatre
Count Basie Theatre
in Red Bank, New Jersey

Count Basie
Count Basie
introduced several generations of listeners to the Big Band sound and left an influential catalog. Basie is remembered by many who worked for him as being considerate of musicians and their opinions, modest, relaxed, fun-loving, dryly witty, and always enthusiastic about his music.[75] In his autobiography, he wrote, "I think the band can really swing when it swings easy, when it can just play along like you are cutting butter."[76]

In Red Bank, New Jersey, the Count Basie
Count Basie
Theatre, a property on Monmouth Street redeveloped for live performances, and Count Basie Field were named in his honor. Received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music in 1974.[77] Mechanic Street, where he grew up with his family, has the honorary title of Count Basie
Count Basie
Way. In 2009, Edgecombe Avenue and 160th Street in Washington Heights, Manhattan, were renamed as Paul Robeson Boulevard and Count Basie Place. The corner is the location of 555 Edgecombe Avenue, also known as the Paul Robeson Home, a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
where Count Basie had also lived. In 2010, Basie was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. In October 2013, version 3.7 of WordPress was code-named Count Basie.[78]

Representation in other media[edit]

Jerry Lewis
Jerry Lewis
used " Blues
in Hoss' Flat" from Basie's Chairman of the Board album, as the basis for his own "Chairman of the Board" routine in the movie The Errand Boy. " Blues
in Hoss' Flat," composed by Basie band member Frank Foster, was used by the radio DJ Al "Jazzbeaux" Collins as his theme song in San Francisco and New York. In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Brenda Fricker's "Pigeon Lady" character claims to have heard Basie in Carnegie Hall. Drummer Neil Peart
Neil Peart
of the Canadian rock band Rush recorded a version of "One O'Clock Jump" with the Buddy Rich
Buddy Rich
Big Band, and has used it at the end of his drum solos on the 2002 Vapor Trails Tour
Vapor Trails Tour
and Rush's 30th Anniversary Tour. Since 1963 "The Kid From the Red Bank" has been the theme and signature music for the most popular Norwegian radio show, Reiseradioen, aired at NRK P1
every day during the summer. In the 2016 movie "The Matchbreaker", Emily Atkins (Christina Grimmie) recounts the story of how Count basie met his wife 3 times without speaking to her, telling her he'd marry her someday in their first conversation, and then marrying her 7 years later.

Discography[edit] Count Basie
Count Basie
made most of his albums with his big band. See the Count Basie Orchestra Discography. From 1929–1932 Basie was part of Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra:

Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra (1929–1932) Basie Beginnings (1929–1932, RCA/Bluebird) The Swinging Count!, (Clef 1952) Count Basie Presents Eddie Davis Trio + Joe Newman
Count Basie Presents Eddie Davis Trio + Joe Newman
(Roulette, 1958) Atomic Swing (Roulette, 1958) Memories Ad-Lib
Memories Ad-Lib
(Roulette, 1958) with Joe Williams Count Basie
Count Basie
& Billy Eckstine
Billy Eckstine
- Basie & Eckstine Incorporated ( Roulette 1959)

String Along with Basie
String Along with Basie
(Roulette, 1960) Count Basie and the Kansas City 7 (Impulse!, 1962) Basie Swingin' Voices Singin'
Basie Swingin' Voices Singin'
(ABC-Paramount, 1966) with the Alan Copeland Singers Loose Walk
Loose Walk
with Roy Eldridge
Roy Eldridge
(Pablo, 1972) Basie Jam (Pablo, 1973) The Bosses
The Bosses
with Big Joe Turner
Big Joe Turner
(1973) For the First Time (Pablo, 1974) Satch and Josh
Satch and Josh
with Oscar Peterson Basie & Zoot with Zoot Sims
Zoot Sims
(Pablo, 1975) For the Second Time (Pablo, 1975) Basie Jam 2 (Pablo, 1976) Basie Jam 3 (Pablo, 1976) Kansas City 5
Kansas City 5
(Pablo, 1977) The Gifted Ones
The Gifted Ones
with Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
(Pablo, 1977) Montreux '77 (Pablo, 1977) Basie Jam: Montreux '77 (Pablo, 1977) Satch and Josh...Again
Satch and Josh...Again
with Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
(Pablo, 1977) Night Rider with Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
(Pablo, 1978) Count Basie
Count Basie
Meets Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
– The Timekeepers (Pablo, 1978) Yessir, That's My Baby with Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
(Pablo, 1978) Kansas City 8: Get Together (Pablo, 1979) Kansas City 7
Kansas City 7
(Pablo, 1980) On the Road (Pablo, 1980) Kansas City 6
Kansas City 6
(Pablo, 1981) Mostly Blues...and Some Others
Mostly Blues...and Some Others
(Pablo, 1983)


Hit Parade of 1943
Hit Parade of 1943
(1943) – as himself Top Man (1943) – as himself Sugar Chile Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie
Count Basie
and His Sextet (1950) – as himself Cinderfella
(1960) – as himself Sex and the Single Girl (film)
Sex and the Single Girl (film)
(1964) – as himself with his orchestra Blazing Saddles
Blazing Saddles
(1974) – as himself with his orchestra Last of the Blue Devils (1979) – interview and concert by the orchestra in documentary on Kansas City music

Awards[edit] Grammy Awards[edit]

Count Basie
Count Basie
Grammy Award
Grammy Award

Year Category Title Genre Results

1982 Best Jazz
Instrumental Performance, Big Band Warm Breeze Jazz Winner

1984 Best Jazz
Instrumental Performance, Big Band 88 Basie Street Jazz Winner

1980 Best Jazz
Instrumental Performance, Big Band On The Road Jazz Winner

1977 Best Jazz
Performance by a Big Band Prime Time Jazz Winner

1976 Best Jazz
Performance by a Soloist (Instrumental) Basie And Zoot Jazz Winner

1963 Best Performance by an Orchestra – For Dancing This Time By Basie! Hits of the 50's And 60's Pop Winner

1960 Best Performance by a Band For Dancing Dance With Basie Pop Winner

1958 Best Performance by a Dance Band Basie Pop Winner

1958 Best Jazz
Performance, Group Basie Jazz Winner

Grammy Hall of Fame[edit] By 2011, four recordings of Count Basie
Count Basie
had been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old, and that have "qualitative or historical significance."

Count Basie
Count Basie
Grammy Hall of Fame Awards[80]

Year recorded Title genre Label Year inducted

1939 Lester Leaps In Jazz
(Single) Vocalion 2005

1955 Everyday (I Have the Blues) Jazz
(Single) Clef 1992

1955 April in Paris Jazz
(Single) Clef 1985

1937 One O'Clock Jump Jazz
(Single) Decca 1979

Honors and inductions[edit] On May 23, 1985, William "Count" Basie was presented, posthumously, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
by President Ronald Reagan. The award was received by his son, Aaron Woodward. On September 11, 1996 the U.S. Post Office issued a Count Basie
Count Basie
32 cents postage stamp. Basie is a part of the Big Band Leaders issue, which, is in turn, part of the Legends of American Music series. In 2009, Basie was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.[81]

Count Basie
Count Basie
award history

Year Category Result Notes

2007 Long Island Music Hall of Fame Inducted

2005 Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz
Hall of Fame Inducted

2002 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

1983 NEA Jazz
Masters Winner

1981 Grammy Trustees Award Winner

1981 Kennedy Center Honors Honoree

late 1970s Hollywood Walk of Fame Honoree at 6508 Hollywood Blvd.

1970 Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Initiated Mu Nu Chapter

1958 Down Beat
Down Beat
Hall of Fame Inducted

National Recording Registry[edit] In 2005, Count Basie's song "One O'Clock Jump" (1937) was included by the National Recording Preservation Board in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.[82] The board selects songs in an annual basis that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."



^ a b c Wilson, John S. (April 27, 1984). "On This Day: Count Basie, 79, Band Leader And Master of Swing, Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-22.  ^ Basie Centennial Ball ^ Basie, Count (2000). Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie. Paladin Grafton Books. p. 25. ISBN 0-586-08638-2.  ^ Count Basie
Count Basie
(1985), Good Morning Blues, p. 26 ^ a b Count Basie, 1985, p. 33 ^ Count Basie
Count Basie
and his Friends, myspace.com ^ Count Basie, 2001, p. 29 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 32 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 33–34, plate 3 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 41 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 51 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 55 ^ Robinson, J. Bradford. Count Basie. in Kernfeld, Barry. ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd Edition, Vol. 1. London: MacMillan, 2002. p. 155. ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 96 ^ "JAZZ A film by Ken Burns – PBS". Pbs.org. Retrieved May 2, 2017.  ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 68 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 77 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 6 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 20 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 116 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 120 ^ Count Basie, 1985, plate 10 ^ Basie, Count (2002). Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie. Da Capo Press. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-306-81107-4.  ^ Daniels, Douglas Henry (January 2006). One O'clock Jump: The Unforgettable History of the Oklahoma
City Blue Devils. Beacon Press. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-8070-7136-6.  ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 122 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 146 ^ Dance, 1980, p. 67 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 162 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 171 ^ Stanley Dance, The World of Count Basie, Da Capo, New York, 1980, ISBN 0-306-80245-7, p. 68 ^ 1981 interview cited in "The Lester Young
Lester Young
Story" (Properbox 16) p14–15 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 165 ^ "Various – Boogie Woogie". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-12-13.  ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 181 ^ Leonard Feather, The Encyclopedia of Jazz, Bonanza Books, 1960, p.112 ^ Dance, 1980, p. 104 ^ Nicholson, Stuart (2004). Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz, Updated Edition. London: Routledge. pp. 50–51. ISBN 9781136788130. OCLC 884745086. Toward the end of 1937, Ella moved again, this time to the Woodside Hotel at 2424 Seventh Avenue at 142nd Street, to be close to Jo Jones, the drummer from the Count Basie
Count Basie
band. The band had recently hit town and was playing the Roseland Ballroom, and most of its members were staying at the Woodside...  ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 184 ^ Dance, 1980, p. 107 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 188 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 186 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 200 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 190 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 199 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 202 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 208 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 207 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 211 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 217–218 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 229 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 247 ^ Vail, Ken (1 January 2003). Count Basie: Swingin' the Blues, 1936-1950. Scarecrow Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-8108-4882-5.  ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 260 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 262 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 274 ^ Parker, Jeff. "THE BIOGRAPHY OF COUNT BASIE". Swingmusic.net. Retrieved May 2, 2017.  ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 289–290 ^ Dance, 1980, p. 5 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 281, 304 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 293 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 299 ^ LaFaro-Fernandez, Helene (January 1, 2009). "Jade Visions: The Life and Music of Scott LaFaro". University of North Texas Press. Retrieved May 2, 2017 – via Google Books.  ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 315 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 318 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 323 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 335, 337 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 339 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 353 ^ Greene, Bryan (January–March 2017). "This Green and Pleasant Land" (PDF). Poverty and Race. 26 (1). Poverty and Race Research Action Council. p. 3.  ^ "Catherine L. Morgan Basie (1914 - 1983) - Find A Grave Photos". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 2013-02-19.  ^ Pignon, Charles (2004). The Sinatra Treasures, Virgin Books, ISBN 1-85227-184-1 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 362 ^ " Jackie Wilson
Jackie Wilson
& Count Basie
Count Basie
– Manufacturers Of Soul at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-02-19.  ^ "Manufacturers of Soul by Jackie Wilson : Reviews and Ratings". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2013-02-19.  ^ Dance, 1980, pp. 7–8 ^ Count Basie, 1985, p. 370 ^ "Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez To Be Awarded Honorary Doctor of Music Degree From Berklee College of Music". Businesswire.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.  ^ "WordPress 3.7 "Basie"". WordPress.org. Retrieved 2013-10-22.  ^ Grammy Award
Grammy Award
search engine Archived November 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Grammy Hall of Fame Database". Grammy.org. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-22.  ^ Lisa Fleisher (December 3, 2009). "Count Basie, Jack Nicholson, Les Paul make New Jersey Hall of Fame". The Newark Star Ledger. Retrieved April 2, 2016.  ^ "2005 National Recording Registry choices". Loc.gov. May 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Count Basie.

Count Basie
Count Basie
at Encyclopædia Britannica Count Basie
Count Basie
at Find a Grave The Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie Orchestra
official website Count Basie
Count Basie
discography at iMusic.am International Jose Guillermo Carrillo Foundation Basie biography at swingmusic.net BBC Profile of Count Basie Downbeat Magazine U.S. Postal Service Biography Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony for the Presidential Medal of Freedom – May 23, 1985 Basie biography and album list MIDI sequences of 1940s sheet music

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Count Basie


Count Basie
Count Basie
and the Kansas City 7 Basie Swingin' Voices Singin' Loose Walk Basie Jam The Bosses For the First Time Satch and Josh Basie & Zoot For the Second Time Basie Jam 2 Basie Jam 3 Kansas City 5 The Gifted Ones Basie Jam: Montreux '77 Satch and Josh...Again Night Rider Count Basie
Count Basie
Meets Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
– The Timekeepers Yessir, That's My Baby Kansas City 8: Get Together Kansas City 7 Kansas City 6 Mostly Blues...and Some Others


"April in Paris" "Corner Pocket" "Every Day I Have the Blues" "Hey! Jealous Lover" "Jumpin' at the Woodside" "Lester Leaps In "Li'l Darlin'" "One O'Clock Jump"


Count Basie
Count Basie
Orchestra Count Basie
Count Basie
Theatre Paul Robeson Home A Classy Pair Count Basie
Count Basie
Swings, Joe Williams Sings Digital III at Montreux Ella and Basie! A Perfect Match Sinatra–Basie: An Historic Musical First Sinatra at the Sands

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Count Basie
Count Basie

Count Basie


John Duke (Bass) Sal Nistico (Tenor Sax) Frank Wess
Frank Wess
( Alto Sax/Flute) Joe Williams (Vocals) Earle Warren ( Alto Sax/Occasional Singer) Preston Love ( Alto Sax) Danny House ( Alto Sax) Sonny Cohn
Sonny Cohn
(trumpet Reunald Jones (Trumpet) Neal Hefti, (Trumpet) Harry Edison
Harry Edison
(Trumpet) Joe Newman (Trumpet) Lester Young
Lester Young
(Tenor Sax) Herschel Evans
Herschel Evans
(Tenor Sax) Jo Jones
Jo Jones
(Drums) Walter Page (Bass) Bill Hughes (trombone) Dennis Wilson (lead trombone Grover Mitchell
Grover Mitchell
(trombone) Freddie Green
Freddie Green
(Guitar) Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
(Vocals) Buck Clayton
Buck Clayton
(Trumpet) Jimmy Rushing
Jimmy Rushing
(Vocals) Marshal Royal ( Alto Sax) Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (Tenor Sax) Thad Jones
Thad Jones
(Trumpet) Al Grey
Al Grey
(Trombone) John Clayton (Bass) Cleveland Eaton
Cleveland Eaton
(Bass) Gregg Field (drums) Dennis Rowland (Vocals) Chris Murrell (vocals) Dave Gibson (Drums) Rich Thompson (Drums) Jack Washington (Baritone Sax) Johnny Williams (Baritone Sax) Butch Miles (Drums) Sonny Payne (Drums) Frank Foster (Tenor Sax) George Caldwell (Piano) Charlton Johnson (Guitar) Tony Suggs (Piano) Scotty Barnhart (Trumpet) James Leary (Bass) Brian Gryce (Drums) Will Matthews (guitar) Mel Wanzo (trombone) Kris Johnson (trumpet) Ed Shaughnessy (drums)


Dance Session (1952–54, Clef) Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings (with Joe Williams) (1955, Clef) April in Paris (1955–56, Verve) The Greatest!! Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards
The Greatest!! Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards
(with Joe Williams) (1956, Verve) Basie in London
Basie in London
(live) (1956, Verve) One O'Clock Jump
One O'Clock Jump
(with Joe Williams and Ella Fitzgerald) (1957, Verve) Count Basie at Newport
Count Basie at Newport
(live) (1957, Verve) E = MC² (1958, Roulette) Basie Plays Hefti
Basie Plays Hefti
(1958, Roulette) No Count Sarah
No Count Sarah
(with Sarah Vaughan) (1958, EmArcy) Chairman of the Board (1958, Roulette) Welcome to the Club (Uncredited) (Nat King Cole) (1959, Capitol) Basie/Eckstine Incorporated
Basie/Eckstine Incorporated
(with Billy Eckstine) (1959, Roulette) Strike Up the Band (with Tony Bennett) (1959, Roulette) In Person!
In Person!
(with Tony Bennett) (1959, Columbia) Everyday I Have the Blues
(with Joe Williams) (1959, Roulette) The Count Basie Story
The Count Basie Story
(1960, Roulette) I Gotta Right to Swing
I Gotta Right to Swing
(Uncredited) (Sammy Davis Jr.) (1960, Decca)


First Time! The Count Meets the Duke (with Duke Ellington) (1961, Columbia) The Legend (1961, Roulette) Count Basie/ Sarah Vaughan
Sarah Vaughan
(with Sarah Vaughan) (1961, Roulette) Basie at Birdland
Basie at Birdland
(live) (1961, Roulette) On My Way & Shoutin' Again! (Verve, 1963) Sinatra–Basie: An Historic Musical First (with Frank Sinatra) (1962, Reprise) Li'l Ol' Groovemaker...Basie! (1963, Verve) This Time by Basie!
This Time by Basie!
(1963, Verve) Ella and Basie!
Ella and Basie!
(with Ella Fitzgerald) (1963, Verve) Basie Land
Basie Land
(1964, Verve) It Might as Well Be Swing
It Might as Well Be Swing
(with Frank Sinatra) (1964, Reprise) Basie Picks the Winners
Basie Picks the Winners
(1965, Verve) Our Shining Hour (with Sammy Davis Jr.) (1965, Verve) Arthur Prysock and Count Basie (with Arthur Prysock) (1965, Verve) Basie's Beatle Bag
Basie's Beatle Bag
(1965, Verve) Broadway Basie's...Way
Broadway Basie's...Way
(1966, Command) Basie Meets Bond
Basie Meets Bond
(1966, Capitol) Hollywood...Basie's Way
Hollywood...Basie's Way
(1966, Command) Sinatra at the Sands
Sinatra at the Sands
(live, with Frank Sinatra) (1966, Reprise) Basie's Beat
Basie's Beat
(1967, Verve) Half a Sixpence (1967, Dot) The Board of Directors (with The Mills Brothers) (1968, Dot) The Board of Directors Annual Report
The Board of Directors Annual Report
(with The Mills Brothers) (1968, Dot) Basie Straight Ahead
Basie Straight Ahead
(1969, Dot) Standing Ovation (1969, Dot) Afrique (1970, RCA Victor)


Bing 'n' Basie
Bing 'n' Basie
(with Bing Crosby) (Daybreak, 1972) Jazz
at Santa Monica Civic '72 (live) (1972, Pablo) The Bosses
The Bosses
(with Big Joe Turner) (1973, Pablo) Basie Big Band
Basie Big Band
(1975, Pablo) Fun Time (1975, Pablo) I Told You So (1976, Pablo) Prime Time (1977, Pablo) Montreux '77 (live) (1977, Pablo) Live in Japan '78 (live) (1978, Pablo) On the Road (1979, Pablo) Digital III at Montreux
Digital III at Montreux
(live) (1979, Pablo) A Classy Pair
A Classy Pair
(with Ella Fitzgerald) (1979, Pablo) A Perfect Match (live, with Ella Fitzgerald) (1979, Pablo) Kansas City Shout (1980, Pablo)


Warm Breeze (1981, Pablo) Send in the Clowns (Sarah Vaughan) (1981, Pablo) Farmer's Market Barbecue
Farmer's Market Barbecue
(1982, Pablo) 88 Basie Street (1983, Pablo) Me and You (1983, Pablo) Fancy Pants (final album with Count Basie) (1983, Pablo) Long Live the Chief (1987, Denon) Diane Schuur
Diane Schuur
& the Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie Orchestra
(live, with Diane Schuur) (1987, GRP) The Legend, the Legacy (1990, Denon)


The George Benson Big Boss Band featuring The Count Basie
Count Basie
Orchestra (1991, Warner Bros.) The Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie Orchestra
Live at El Morocco (1992, Telarc) Joe Williams and the Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie Orchestra
(1993, Telarc) Live at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild: The Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie Orchestra
(1997, Blue Jackel) At Long Last
At Long Last
(with Rosemary Clooney) (1998, Concord) Count Plays Duke (1998, MAMA) Swing Shift (1999, MAMA)


Ray Sings, Basie Swings
Ray Sings, Basie Swings
(2006, Concord) Basie is Back (2007, MAMA) Midnight in Manhattan (2007, Aspirion) A Swingin' Christmas (Featuring The Count Basie Big Band)
A Swingin' Christmas (Featuring The Count Basie Big Band)
(with Tony Bennett) (2008, Columbia) A Very Swingin' Basie Christmas! (2015)

Small-group sessions

Basie Jam (1973, Pablo) For the First Time (1974, Pablo) Basie & Zoot (with Zoot Sims) (1975, Pablo) For the Second Time (1975, Pablo) Basie Jam 2 (1976, Pablo) Basie Jam 3 (1976, Pablo) Kansas City 5
Kansas City 5
(1977, Pablo) The Gifted Ones
The Gifted Ones
(with Dizzy Gillespie) (1977, Pablo) Basie Jam: Montreux '77 (live) (1977, Pablo) Satch and Josh...Again
Satch and Josh...Again
(with Oscar Peterson) (1977, Pablo) Night Rider (with Oscar Peterson) (1978, Pablo) Count Basie
Count Basie
Meets Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
– The Timekeepers (with Oscar Peterson) (1978, Pablo) Yessir, That's My Baby (with Oscar Peterson) (1978, Pablo) Kansas City 7
Kansas City 7
(1980, Pablo) Kansas City 6
Kansas City 6
(1981, Pablo) Mostly Blues...and Some Others
Mostly Blues...and Some Others
(1983, Pablo)

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Kennedy Center Honorees (1980s)


Leonard Bernstein James Cagney Agnes de Mille Lynn Fontanne Leontyne Price


Count Basie Cary Grant Helen Hayes Jerome Robbins Rudolf Serkin


George Abbott Lillian Gish Benny Goodman Gene Kelly Eugene Ormandy


Katherine Dunham Elia Kazan Frank Sinatra James Stewart Virgil Thomson


Lena Horne Danny Kaye Gian Carlo Menotti Arthur Miller Isaac Stern


Merce Cunningham Irene Dunne Bob Hope Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
& Frederick Loewe Beverly Sills


Lucille Ball Hume Cronyn
Hume Cronyn
& Jessica Tandy Yehudi Menuhin Antony Tudor Ray Charles


Perry Como Bette Davis Sammy Davis Jr. Nathan Milstein Alwin Nikolais


Alvin Ailey George Burns Myrna Loy Alexander Schneider Roger L. Stevens


Harry Belafonte Claudette Colbert Alexandra Danilova Mary Martin William Schuman

Complete list 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 46945530 LCCN: n81016968 ISNI: 0000 0001 0896 4216 GND: 118821431 SELIBR: 177000 SUDOC: 029424747 BNF: cb138912118 (data) BIBSYS: 46322 MusicBrainz: 0dbd6300-efdc-420b-857e-895e18fad317 NDL: 00620334 BNE: XX840828 SN