Frankie Newton

Decades: 2000s


4 January 1906, Emory, Virginia, USA, d. 11 March 1954, New York City, New York, USA. In the late 20s and early 30s Newton played trumpet in a number of leading New York bands, including those led by Fess Johnson, Sam Wooding and Chick Webb. He later joined Charlie Barnet and was briefly with Andy Kirk. The 40s saw him playing in various bands on the verge of the big-time, including those led by Lucky Millinder and Pete Brown. Apparently without direction, his career drifted and he worked mostly in clubs in New York and Boston, sometimes in company with James P. Johnson, ‘Big’ Sid Catlett and Edmond Hall. By the 50s he was playing only rarely. A gifted player with a full, burnished sound, Newton was especially attuned to the needs of singers and played on a number of memorable vocal recordings, including Bessie Smith’s last date, plus Maxine Sullivan’s ‘Loch Lomond’, and Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’ sessions....

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