Geechie Smith, Crown Prince Waterford, Joe Lutcher, Maxwell Davis, Buddy Floyd, Pete Johnson, Jay McShann, Fletcher Smith, Tiny Webb, Lucky Enois, Billy Hadnott, Jesse Price
Reference: BMCD 6046
Unlike more commercial swing, Kansas City jazz was built upon head arrangements - musical ideas or riffs that were rarely written down, but provided the foundations for Kansas City musicians to improvise all night long. Kansas City musicians did not play the blues so much as stomp them, Albert Murray wrote: "Kansas City singers did not sing the blues, they shouted them."
Vernon "Geechie" Smith was a trumpeter/vocalist from the Tulsa, Oklahoma, aera. He played early on with Ernie Fields Orchestra, and one of his first Capitol sides was called "T-Town Jump", that might serve as an evidence. He was a KC stalwart, spent many years in Kansas City and played in countless KC styled bands. He moved to L.A. where he joined Joe Lutcher's band. He took many of his colleagues with him, namely guitarists Lucky Enois and Louis Speiginer, tenorman Freddie Simon, pianist Fletcher Smith and drummer Jesse Price. After recording under his own name for the Bihari Brother' Modern subsidiary Colonial in 1950 and for the obscure Kicks label in 1954, he drifted into obscurity.
Charles "Crown Prince" Waterford was from Jonesboro, Arkansas. He sang with Leslie Sheffield's Rhythmaires and Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy (with Charlie Christian and Abe Bolar) before beginning his career as "The Crown Prince of the Blues" in Chicago in the 1940s. Waterford shouted the blues in the then very popular manner and continued his recording career for labels like Hy-Tone, Aladdin and Capitol. In 1947, he participated in a historic Battle of the Blues at the Elks hall on Central Avenue in L.A.; the line-up was Crown Prince Waterford vs. Big Joe Turner vs. Wynonie Harris vs. Clarence Samuels vs. Jimmy Witherspoon. In 1949, he joined the King stable. In the 1950's he recorded for small companies and later dedicated his life to the Church and became known as Reverend Charles Waterford.
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