Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: April 20, 1908 - Lionel Hampton

Image from picturethis.museumca.org

From Wikipedia (Accessed April 18, 2016):
Lionel Leo Hampton (April 20, 1908 – August 31, 2002) was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. Hampton worked with jazz musicians from Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, and Buddy Rich to Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Quincy Jones. In 1992, he was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1996.


Early life

Lionel Hampton was born in 1908 in Louisville, Kentucky, and was raised by his grandmother. Shortly after he was born, he and his mother moved to her hometown Birmingham, Alabama.[1][2][3] He spent his early childhood in Kenosha, Wisconsin, before he and his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1916. As a youth, Hampton was a member of the Bud Billiken Club, an alternative to the Boy Scouts of America, which was off limits because of racial segregation.[4] During the 1920s—while still a teenager—Hampton took xylophone lessons from Jimmy Bertrand and started playing drums.[5] Hampton was raised Roman Catholic, and started out playing fife and drum at the Holy Rosary Academy near Chicago.[6][7]

Early career
Lionel Hampton began his career playing drums for the Chicago Defender Newsboys' Band (led by Major N. Clark Smith) while still a teenager in Chicago. He moved to California in 1927 or 1928, playing drums for the Dixieland Blues-Blowers. He made his recording debut with The Quality Serenaders led by Paul Howard, then left for Culver City and drummed for the Les Hite band at Sebastian's Cotton Club. One of his trademarks as a drummer was his ability to do stunts with multiple pairs of sticks such as twirling and juggling without missing a beat.[8] During this period he began practicing on the vibraphone. In 1930 Louis Armstrong came to California and hired the Les Hite band, asking Hampton if he would play vibes on two songs. So began his career as a vibraphonist, popularizing the use of the instrument in the process.[5] Invented ten years earlier, the vibraphone is essentially a xylophone with metal bars, a sustain pedal, and resonators equipped with electric-powered fans that add vibrato.[9]

While working with the Les Hite band, Hampton also occasionally did some performing with Nat Shilkret and his orchestra. During the early 1930s he studied music at the University of Southern California. In 1934 he led his own orchestra, and then appeared in the Bing Crosby film Pennies From Heaven (1936) alongside Louis Armstrong (wearing a mask in a scene while playing drums).[10]

With Benny Goodman
Also in November 1936,[12] the Benny Goodman Orchestra came to Los Angeles to play the Palomar Ballroom. When John Hammond brought Goodman to see Hampton perform, Goodman invited him to join his trio, which thus became the celebrated Benny Goodman Quartet with Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa completing the lineup. The Trio and Quartet were among the first racially integrated jazz groups to perform before audiences,[11][13] and were a leading small-group of the day.

Lionel Hampton Orchestra

Lionel Hampton at the Aquarium, New York, c.June 1946 (photograph: William Gottlieb)

While Hampton worked for Goodman in New York, he recorded with several different small groups known as the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, as well as assorted small groups within the Goodman band. In 1940 Hampton left the Goodman organization under amicable circumstances to form his own big band.[12]

Hampton's orchestra became popular during the 1940s and early 1950s. His third recording with them in 1942 produced a classic version of "Flying Home", featuring a solo by Illinois Jacquet that anticipated rhythm & blues. Although Hampton first recorded "Flying Home" under his own name with a small group in 1940 for Victor, the best and most famous version is the big band version recorded for Decca on May 26, 1942, in a new arrangement by Hampton's pianist Milt Buckner.[14] The selection became popular, and so in 1944 Hampton recorded "Flying Home, Number Two" featuring Arnett Cobb. The song went on to become the theme song for all three men. Guitarist Billy Mackel first joined Hampton in 1944, and would perform and record with him almost continuously through the late 1970s.[15] In 1947 he performed "Stardust" at a "Just Jazz" concert for producer Gene Norman, also featuring Charlie Shavers and Slam Stewart; the recording was issued by Norman's label GNP Crescendo.

From the mid-1940s until the early 1950s, Hampton led a lively rhythm & blues band whose Decca Records recordings included numerous young performers who later achieved fame. They included bassist Charles Mingus, saxophonist Johnny Griffin, guitarist Wes Montgomery, vocalist Dinah Washington and keyboardist Milt Buckner. Other noteworthy band members were trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Cat Anderson, Kenny Dorham, and Snooky Young; trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, and saxophonists Illinois Jacquet and Jerome Richardson.

The Hampton orchestra that toured Europe in 1953 included Clifford Brown, Gigi Gryce, Anthony Ortega, Monk Montgomery, George Wallington, Art Farmer, Quincy Jones, and singer Annie Ross. Hampton continued to record with small groups and jam sessions during the 1940s and 1950s, with Oscar Peterson, Buddy DeFranco, and others. In 1955, while in California working on The Benny Goodman Story he recorded with Stan Getz and made two albums with Art Tatum for Norman Granz as well as with his own big band.

Hampton performed with Louis Armstrong and Italian singer Lara Saint Paul at the 1968 Sanremo Music Festival in Italy. The performance created a sensation with Italian audiences, as it broke into a real jazz session.[16] That same year, Hampton received a Papal Medal from Pope Paul VI.

Later Career

Lionel Hampton during a concert in Aachen (Germany) on May 19, 1977

During the 1960s, Hampton's groups were in decline; he was still performing what had succeeded for him earlier in his career. He did not fare much better in the 1970s, though he recorded actively for his Who's Who in Jazz record label, which he founded in 1977/1978.[12][17]

Beginning in February 1984, Hampton and his band played at the University of Idaho's annual jazz festival, which was renamed the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival the following year. In 1987 the UI's school of music was renamed for Hampton, the first university music school named for a jazz musician.

Hampton remained active until a stroke in Paris in 1991 led to a collapse on stage. That incident, combined with years of chronic arthritis, forced him to cut back drastically on performances. However, he did play at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2001 shortly before his death.[6][12][18]

Lionel Hampton died from congestive heart failure at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, on August 31, 2002.[19] He was interred at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York. His funeral was held on September 7, 2002, and featured a performance by Wynton Marsalis and David Ostwald's Gully Low Jazz Band at Riverside Church in Manhattan; the procession began at The Cotton Club in Harlem.[19][20]

Personal life
On November 11, 1936, in Yuma, Arizona, Lionel Hampton married Gladys Riddle (1913–1971).[21] Gladys was Lionel's business manager throughout much of his career. Many musicians recall that Lionel ran the music and Gladys ran the business.

During the 1950s he had a strong interest in Judaism and raised money for Israel. In 1953 he composed a King David suite and performed it in Israel with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Later in life Hampton became a Christian Scientist.[6] Hampton was a Thirty-third degree Prince Hall freemason in New York, also.[22] In January 1997, his apartment caught fire and destroyed his awards and belongings; Hampton escaped uninjured.[23]

President George W. Bush honors Lionel Hampton during a ceremony recognizing Black Music Month in the East Room of the White House on June 30, 2001.

Hampton died August 31, 2002 and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York City immediately adjacent to both Miles Davis and Duke Ellington's graves.

Hampton was deeply involved in the construction of various public housing projects, and founded the Lionel Hampton Development Corporation. Construction began with the Lionel Hampton Houses in Harlem, New York in the 1960s, with the help of then Republican governor Nelson Rockefeller. Hampton's wife, Gladys Hampton, also was involved in construction of a housing project in her name, the Gladys Hampton Houses. Gladys died in 1971. In the 1980s, Hampton built another housing project called Hampton Hills in Newark, New Jersey.

Hampton was a staunch Republican and served as a delegate to several Republican National Conventions.[24] He served as Vice-Chairman of the New York Republican County Committee for some years[25] and also was a member of the New York City Human Rights Commission.[6] Hampton donated almost $300,000 to Republican campaigns and committees throughout his lifetime.[26]

2001 – Harlem Jazz and Music Festival's Legend Award
1996 – International Jazz Hall of Fame Induction and Award (performed "Flying Home" with Illinois Jacquet and Count Basis Orchestra)
1996 – National Medal of Arts presented by President Bill Clinton
1995 – Honorary Commissioner of Civil Rights by George Pataki
1995 – Honorary Doctorate from the New England Conservatory of Music
1993 – Honorary Doctorate from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore
1992 – Inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
1992 - "Contributions To The Cultural Life of the Nation" award from John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
1988 – The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship
1988 – The National Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame Award
1987 – Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the University of Idaho – UI's School of Music renamed "Lionel Hampton School of Music."
1987 – The Roy Wilkins Memorial Award from the NAACP
1986 – The "One of a Kind" Award from Broadcast Music, Inc.
1984 – Jazz Hall of Fame Award from the Institute of Jazz Studies
1984 – Honorary Doctorate of Music from USC
1983 – The International Film and Television Festival of New York City Award
1983 – Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the State University of New York
1982 – Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
1981 – Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Glassboro State College
1979 – Honorary Doctorate of Music from Howard University
1978 – Bronze Medallion from New York City
1976 – Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Daniel Hale Williams University
1975 – Honorary Doctorate of Music from Xavier University of Louisiana
1974 – Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Pepperdine University
1968 – Papal Medal from Pope Paul VI
1966 – George Frideric Handel Medal
1957 – American Goodwill Ambassador by President Dwight D. Eisenhower
1954 – Israel's Statehood Award


1937–39Benny Goodman -The Complete RCA Victor Small Group Recordingsalong with Teddy Wilson, appearing as sideman with Benny GoodmanRCA Records
1937–39Hot Mallets, Vol. 1appearances by Cootie Williams, Johnny Hodges, Harry James, Benny Carter, Chu Berry, Rex Stewart, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Charlie ChristianBluebird
1937–39The Jumpin Jive, Vol. 2
1938The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concertappearance as sideman for Benny GoodmanColumbia
1939–40Tempo and Swingappearances by Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Nat "King" Cole and Helen ForrestBluebird
1944Star Dustthe famous "Just Jazz" jam sessionVerve
1947with the Just Jazz All StarsCharlie Shavers, Willie Smith, Corky Corcoran, Milt Buckner, Slam Stewart, Jackie Mills, Lee YoungGNP Crescendo/Vogue 78s/London Records 1972 transfer
1953–54The Lionel Hampton Quintetwith DeFranco and Peterson. Includes a 17-minute jam on "Flyin Home". There is also a 5CD box of the complete Verve recordings of the quartets and quintets with Peterson, as well as a number of other compilations and selections.Verve Records
1955Hamp and Getz
1958Golden Vibeswith a reed quintetColumbia
Audio Fidelity
1960Silver Vibeswith a Trombones And Rhythms (Trombone Quartet)Columbia
1963Benny Goodman Together Again!reunion with Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson & Gene KrupaColumbia
1963You Better Know It!!!with Clark Terry, Ben Webster, Hank Jones, Milt Hinton, Osie JohnsonImpulse!
1972Please Sunrise
1974Transitionwith Buddy RichGroove Merchant
1979Live in Emmen/Holland
Timeless Muse
1988Mostly Blues
Jazz Heritage Society
1991Live at the Blue Notejamming with old friends including trombonist Al GreyColumbia
1995For the Love of Musicfeaturing Norman Brown, Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, Chaka Khan, Tito Puente, Joshua Redman, Dianne Reeves, Wallace Roney, Patrice Rushen, Grover Washington Jr., and Stevie WonderMotown Records
1937–40Swing Classics – Lionel Hampton and His Jazz GroupsRecordings from 1937–1940 Reissued 1961RCA Victor LPM-2318
1942–45Steppin' Out – Lionel Hampton and OrchestraRecordings from 1942–1945 Reissued 1980Decca Jazz Heritage Series DL-79244
1939–56Greatest HitsSelections from above recordsRCA Victor
1937–63The Lionel Hampton StorySelections from all records and eras aboveProper

As sideman

With Frank Sinatra
  • L.A. Is My Lady (Qwest, 1984)
1933Girl Without A RoomhimselfRalph MurphyComedy
1936Pennies From HeavenhimselfNorman Z. McLeodComedy/Musical
1937Hollywood HotelhimselfBusby BerkeleyMusical/Romance
1938For Auld Lang Synehimself ?Documentary
1948A Song Is BornhimselfHoward HawksComedy/Musical
1949Lionel Hampton and His OrchestrahimselfWill CowanMusic
1955Musik, Musik and nur MusikhimselfErnst MatrayComedy
1955The Benny Goodman StoryhimselfValentine DaviesDrama
1957Mister Rock and RollhimselfCharles S. DubinDrama/Musical
1980But Then She's Betty CarterhimselfMichelle ParkersonDocumentary

1. Giddins, Gary (2002-09-23). "Lionel Hampton, 1908–2002; After 75 Years Onstage, a Well-Earned Rest". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2007-06-10.
2. Rick Mattingly. "Lionel Hampton: 1908-2002". PAS Hall of Fame. Percussive Arts Society. Archived from the original on 2008-04-02.
3. "Lionel Hampton (1908-2002)". Hall of Composers. United States Marine Band. Archived from the original on 2012-10-19.
4. Ehrenhalt, Alan (1996). The Lost City: The Forgotten Virtues of Community in America. Basic Books. p. 152. ISBN 0-465-04193-0.
5. Yanow, Scott (2001). Classic Jazz. Backbeat Books. p. 94. ISBN 0-87930-659-9.
6. Voce, Steve. "Obituary: Lionel Hampton (The Independent, London)". Retrieved 2007-06-03.
7. "Nun Taught Hampton". The Vancouver Sun. January 17, 1958. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
8. "DownBeat Magazine". Downbeat.com. February 4, 1959. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
9. Rickert, David. "Lionel Hampton: "Flying Home"".
10. Britt, Stan (1989). Dexter Gordon: A Musical Biography. Da Capo Press. p. 31. ISBN 0-306-80361-5.
11. Firestone, Ross (1994). Swing, Swing, Swing: The Life & Times of Benny Goodman. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 183–184. ISBN 0-393-31168-6.
12. Yanow, Scott (2000). Swing: Third Ear--The Essential Listening Companion. Backbeat Books. p. 68. ISBN 0-87930-600-9.
13. Scott, William B. (1999). New York Modern: The Arts and the City. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 263. ISBN 0801867932.
14. Rickert, David. "Jazz article: "Lionel Hampton: 'Flying Home'"". Retrieved November 29, 2012.
15. "Billy Mackel", The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, ed. Barry Kernfeld, 1988.
16. Lara Saint Paul performs with Lionel Hampton and Louis Armstrong Lara Saint Paul – The Hits
17. "JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns: Selected Artist Biography – Lionel Hampton". PBS. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
18. [1][dead link]
19. Peter Watrous (September 1, 2002). "Lionel Hampton, Who Put Swing In the Vibraphone, Is Dead at 94". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-16. Lionel Hampton, whose flamboyant mastery of the vibraphone made him one of the leading figures of the swing era, died yesterday morning at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan. He was 94.
20. "Funeral Services for Lionel Hampton". The New York Times. September 5, 2002. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
21. Smith, Jessie Carney, editor (1996). Notable Black American women: Book II. Gale Research, Detroit. p. 275. ISBN 0-8103-9177-5.
22. Cox, Joseph (2002). Great Black Men of Masonry. iUniverse. p. 176. ISBN 0-595-22729-5.
23. Barron, James (January 9, 1998). "PUBLIC LIVES; More Fallout From Lamp Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
24. Jackson, Jeffrey H. (2005). Music And History: Bridging The Disciplines. University Press of Mississippi. p. 102. ISBN 1-57806-762-6.
25. "Paid Notice: Deaths HAMPTON, LIONEL". The New York Times. September 10, 2002. Retrieved 2007-06-03.
26. "Campaign Contribution Search: Lionel Hampton, 1908-2002". NEWSMEAT. Polity Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 2013-03-11.

External links

Lionel Hampton at the Internet Movie Database Lionel Hampton at Drummersworld Lionel Hampton at Find A Grave Lionel Hampton: His Life and Legacy at University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Library Collection, part of the International Jazz Collections at the University of Idaho Library Christopher Popa, "Lionel Hampton: Music Was His Fountain of Youth," Big Band Library Photos at Jazzhouse.org Lionel Hampton interview on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs, September 17, 1983 Lionel Hampton discography at Discogs

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Hampton, Lionel., James Haskins, and Vincent. Pelote. Hamp : An Autobiography. New York, N.Y.: Amistad : Distributed by Penguin USA, 1993. Print.
ML419.H26 A3 1993, Young Library Books - 4th Floor

Hampton, Lionel. Lionel Hampton. S.l.]: Verve, 1987. Compact Jazz.
CD11134, Fine Arts Library Media Center

Hampton, Lionel. Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra (1946-47): Midnight Sun.
CD6158, Fine Arts Library Media Center

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