DURHAM Brothers Orchestra


                                 EDDIE DURHAM's (TX 1909 - 1987 NY):
PARK & PAVILION, Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., San Marcos, Texas 78666 Est'd. 2014
2006 CENTENNIAL Commorative Hollow-body electric GUITARS - right & left handed
CELEBRATION - First weekend in February, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY, San Marcos Texas

          EDDIE DURHAM (1906-1987)
 Eddie Durham's 80th, by Carol Jenkins, NBC-TV  

  NBC footage   




BIG BAND  SWING MUSIC - Creation of an Idiom

EDDIE DURHAM (1909-1987) from San Marcos, Texas... notably first with WALTER PAGE'S OKLAHOMA BLUE DEVILS and next, THE BENNIE MOTEN ORCHESTRA, codified the Kansas City swing era, into an organized dancing culture, as a new idiom to Jazz, literally "swinging the blues",  He wrote, translated, charted, arranged and co-wrote many seminal 1930's musical arrangements, including One O'Clock Jump, Topsy, Swingin the Blues, Moten's Swing, Jumpin At The Woodside, Sent For You Yesterday Here You Come Today, Every Tub, Lafayette, Lunceford's Special, John's Idea, Glenn Island Special, Sliphorn Jive, Blues In The Groove and Good Morning Blues. Only about 5 big bands were untouched by the talents of Eddie Durham! He CREATED the template (of charts and of stage movements for the brass sections) for the IDIOM of "SWING" with one classic after another and fostered a team who breathed and vastly swung AS ONE, also known as (the best of) the first: 


EDDIE DURHAM - Trombone, Banjo, Electric Guitar, Composer, Arranger, Choreographer for Brass, Innovator and Pioneer of Amplified & Electric Guitar & single-line solos;

William "Count" Basie - Piano, co-Composer 

Freddie Greene-rhythm Guitar,   Walter Page-Tuba & Bass

Lester Young-Tenor Sax

Herschal Evans - Tenor Sax (Eddie's cousin, from Texas)

Papa Jo Jones - Drums (Inventor of the Hi-Hat

 Click for: The BEST SWING MUSIC recordings in History



Eddie’s eldest sibling, JOSEPH DURHAM, JR. was a Musical Director for Teddy Roosevelt’s Homecoming Calvary Band: THE ROUGHRIDERS.  JoeJr. subscribed to correspondence music lessons from the U.S. School of Music, a system which taught 2 & 3 part harmony.  JoeJr. learned to read and notate music and taught ALL of his siblings everything he learned and formed THE DURHAM BROTHERS ORCHESTRA  

L-R: Edgar Battle, Valentine Billington & EDDIE DURHAM played a combined 12 instruments with Maime Smith's 711 SHOW

Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds 1920. L-R: Ernest Elliot, Dope Andrews, Addington Major, Leroy Parker, Willie "The Lion" Smith (piano)

The Durham Brothers, of Mohawk & Cherokee descent, traveled & performed as part of the negro band & minstrel of the 101 Ranch Wild West Circus, which rested on a sprawling 110,000 acres of leased Indian lands spread across four counties. The 101 was a working showplace, self sufficient and employed thousands of people; including yearly rodeos that featured roping, riding, bulldogging, Indian dancers, trick roping, riding and shooting. There were close to 80,000 people on the ranch opening day with the first Wild West Show. And no wonder what with such attractions as the Apache prisoner Geronimo, Buffalo Bill, Tom Mix, Bill Pickett and Lucille Mulhall, plus a buffalo hunt and barbecue, Indian sports and dancing, riding and roping contests, bands and a gigantic parade. The show traveled all over the world: 



Eddie Durham's first recordings are in 1929 - first, with the Orchestra of BENNIE MOTEN and later 

Eddie records guitar Nov.1929 on "LORD YOU SURE BEEN GOOD TO ME" - and 3 other  songs with gospel vocalist, LAURA HENTON

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