Wilbur Dorsey Clayton, 12 November 1911, Parsons, Kansas, USA, d. 8 December 1991, New York City, New York, USA. By his late teens Clayton was already an accomplished trumpeter, having worked locally in Kansas and briefly in California. He returned to the west coast, playing in several Los Angeles-based bands including that led by Charlie Echols. He also formed his own unit, which he took to China for two years. Back in California he found that his reputation had spread and in 1936 he was invited to join Count Basie. He remained with Basie until drafted for military service in 1943, by which time his fame was guaranteed thanks to a succession of fine solos on many of the Basie bands best recordings. After the war he worked mostly with small bands and also appeared as a member of Jazz At The Philharmonic. He worked, too, with a former Basie colleague Jimmy Rushing and occasionally formed bands, big and small, under his own leadership. He toured extensively and...
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