Johnny St. Cyr
John Alexander St. Cyr, 17 April 1890, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 17 June 1966, Los Angeles, California, USA. Following the example of his musician father, St. Cyr started out on guitar, at first playing a home-made instrument. As a teenager, he led his own small group in New Orleans before joining a band led by Freddie Keppard. Still in his home town in the years before the World War I, he also played guitar and banjo with Papa Celestin, Martin Gabriel, Kid Ory and Armand Piron, and he also worked with several New Orleans marching bands, including the Olympia, Tuxedo and Superior. Through these years, in common with most New Orleans musicians, St. Cyr had another job outside music - in his case he was a plasterer - but after a brief spell with King Oliver he decided to make music his full-time career. He also began playing a special six-string guitar-banjo he made himself, an instrument he favoured for many years thereafter. In 1918, he joined Fate Marable on...