Music is perfect for calming people and
relaxing in general. But we should all hear
great songs and find out who is behind them.
That way we can have a music collection.
I know it may have happened that some people
heard a song on the radio and could not
find out the song title or artist. That’s
really really hard with jazz because
at least you can type the words in online
and find the song and artist. But
I would like to introduce you all
to this Black musician.
Lionel Hampton is a Black man who is known for being
a musician. He was titled as one of the extraordinary
musicians of the 20th century. Born April 20, 1908,
he was just like his father, all wrapped up in the
music industry. His father was a singer and pianist,
so music is in his bloodline. His sister gave him
When Lionel attended St. Monica’s School in
Chicago, Lionel got a job selling papers
so he could join Chicago Defender’s Newsboys
Band. To start, Lionel began with the bass drum.
After a while, he moved up to the snare drum.
During his time in high school, he got a job
in a teenage band. At 15, he had already
graduated high school. He later left for
Los Angeles to join Reb Spike’s Sharps and
Lionel got a big opportunity to play with Paul
Howard’s Quality Serenaders and a new band
emerged by Hite, which is the same person
who supported Louis Armstrong at the Cotton
Hampton recorded a session with Armstrong.
During a break he got, Hampton went to
the vibraphone and began playing the vibes
on one song. The song came to him just right
and was a hit. Hampton brought a refreshing
and renewed voice to jazz and he got the
title “King of the Vibes”.
Benny Goodman was impressed and wanted
Hampton to record with him.
Hampton’s wife Gladys took on the role as
being responsible for raising money for
Lionel to start his own band.
He founded the Lionel Hampton Orchestra
full of energy, bright showmanship and top
notch jazz musicianship. “Sunny Side of the
Street”, “Central Avenue Breakdown”, “Flying
Home”, and “Hamp’s Boogie-Woogie” all
became the high in rank best sellers when
This Black man by the name of Lionel Hampton was
a composer and arranger. Lionel wrote over 200 works
which involves Flying Home, Evil Gal Blues, and Midnight Sun.
Also, he composed the King of the Suite.
That, President from long time ago, President Einsenhower asked
Hampton to be a goodwill ambassador for America. Then
Hampton got the chance to tour Europe, Africa, the Middle
East, and the Far East.
And much honor goes to him for all his acheivements
and the fact that there is a school named after
him called the Lionel Hampton School of Music.
Lionel, always found himself achieving cause there is
more. He made his own publishing company, and
he built up the Lionel Hampton Development Corporation
to build low income housing in inner cities.
Lionel passed away but left a beautiful collage
of acheivements in the world and in all places
that has his research information. The Lionel
Hampton Center is a $60 million project that
is the home for jazz housing the university’s
Jazz Festival, it’s School of Music, and its
International Jazz Collections which teach
and preserve jazz. Sounds like somebody
worth meeting, don’t you think?. I wish he was here, but
he is passed.