International Sweethearts Of Rhythm

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 2000s

Biography

In 1937, Laurence Clifton Jones, administrator of a school for poor and orphaned children at Piney Woods, Mississippi, USA, decided to form a band. At first his enterprise was only mildly successful, but by the end of the decade it had achieved a high standard of musicianship and was growing in reputation. In 1941 the band came under new management and hired Eddie Durham as arranger and musical director. Soon afterwards, Durham was replaced by Jesse Stone, a noted Kansas City band leader and arranger. Although mostly using black female musicians, a few white women were hired but, given the existence of segregation, these often had to ‘pass’ for black. At the end of World War II the Sweethearts toured American bases in Europe, played the Olympia Theatre in Paris, and broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio service. In 1949 the band folded but their leader for many years, Anna Mae Winburn, formed a new group. By the mid-50s, however, this band too had ceased to...

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