11 May 1885, Abend, Louisiana, USA, d. 10 April 1938, Savannah, Georgia, USA. Raised in New Orleans, cornettist Joe King Oliver became well known through appearances with local marching and cabaret bands during the early years of this century. After playing with notable early jazzmen such as Kid Ory and Richard M. Jones in 1918, he left for Chicago and two years later was leading his own band. After a brief trip to California, Oliver returned to Chicago and performed an engagement at the Lincoln Gardens. This was in 1922 and his band then included such outstanding musicians as Johnny and Baby Dodds, Lil Hardin and Honore Dutrey. Not content with being merely the best jazz band in town, Oliver sent word to New Orleans and brought in the fast-rising young cornettist Louis Armstrong. His motives in hiring Armstrong might have been questionable. Hardin, who later married Armstrong, reported that Oliver openly stated that his intention was to ensure that by...
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