Joseph Vernon Turner, 18 May 1911, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, d. 24 November 1985, Los Angeles, California, USA. Big Joe Turner (aka Big Vernon) began singing in local clubs in his early teens upon the death of his father, and at the age of 15 teamed up with pianist Pete Johnson. Their professional relationship lasted on-and-off for over 40 years. During the late 20s and early 30s, Turner toured with several of Kansas Citys best black bands, including those led by George E. Lee, Bennie Moten, Andy Kirk and Count Basie. However, it was not until 1936 that he left his home ground and journeyed to New York City. Making little impression on his debut in New York, Turner, with Johnson, returned in 1938 to appear in John Hammond Jnr.s From Spirituals To Swing concerts and on Benny Goodmans Camel Caravan CBS radio show, and this time they were well received. Johnson teamed up with Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis as the Boogie...
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