Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Birthdays on the 18th

DeDe Pierce, Trumpet/Cornet
b.February 18, 1904
d. 1973
New Orleans, LA, USA.

~by Bradley Torreano
De De Pierce was an incredible trumpeter and singer who made jazz in the '40s, '50s, and '60s with his wife, singer/pianist Billie Pierce. Pierce was born in New Orleans, LA, on February 18, 1904. He first appeared playing with Arnold Dupas' band in 1924, playing the trumpet. One night while working at the Blue Jay Club in New Orleans, he met Billie and the two fell in love. They immediately began playing together, and by 1935 they were the regular house band at the Luthjens Dance Hall, where they stayed until the mid-'50s. They released albums throughout this period, but their exit from the dancehall was due to illness, which also stopped their recording career.

The two were both quite sick; eventually they were hospitalized and De De lost his sight during the ordeal. Despite this setback, they began recording again in 1960 and rekindled their careers. Deteriorating health would eventually take them out of the entertainment industry, but not before De De played with Ida Cox on her last tour. He passed away in November of 1973, leaving behind Billie after a long and fruitful career together.

Emil Barnes, Clarinet
b.February 18, 1892
d. March 2, 1970
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.

~by Scott Yanow
Barnes studied under Lorenzo Tio Jr., Alphonse Picou, George Baquet, and Big Eye Nelson. Active professionally in New Orleans by 1908, he was long well regarded locally for his bluesy and distinctively individualistic style. He played with the Chris Kelly band in from the late 1910s through the 1920s and in the 1930s he played with Wooden Joe Nicholas. Barnes did not become widely known to jazz fans outside of New Orleans until he made recordings during the revival era for American Music Records. He performed at Preservation Hall in his later years. In . Barnes was featured on several Folkways Records in 1951 and 1952 (which were issued in the '70s on LPs) and for Jazzology during 1961 and 1963. He was the brother of Polo Barnes that ended up spending much of the 1930s and '40s outside of music, but by the late '40s was gigging with Kid Howard, and he remained fairly active in the 1950s and '60s.

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