|Decades:||1940s 1950s 1990s 2000s|
Edward Otha South, 27 November 1904, Louisiana, Missouri, USA, d. 25 April 1962, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Taught violin as a child, South was educated for a career as a classical musician. Sadly, this goal proved overly optimistic; in the USA in the 20s there was no place on concert stages for black performers. Inevitably, therefore, he became a dance band musician, mainly in Chicago, at first working with artists such as Jimmy Wade, Charlie Elgar and Erskine Tate. In the late 20s he teamed up with Little Mike McKendrick and then led his own band, the Alabamanians, recording with both. In 1928 he visited Europe, proving extremely popular, and during a visit to Budapest he resumed his studies and also established an interest in eastern-European gypsy music that remained with him for the rest of his life. In the early 30s he was again leading a band in Chicago, but did not enjoy the popular success of many of his contemporaries.
In 1937 he...