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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Hal Singer born 8 October 1919

Harold Joseph "Hal" Singer (born 8 October 1919) is an American R&B and jazz bandleader and saxophonist.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Singer studied violin as a child but, as a teenager, switched to clarinet and then tenor saxophone, which became his instrument of choice. From the late 1930s he began playing in local bands, including Ernie Fields', before joining Jay McShann's orchestra in 1943 and then moving to New York. After working in other bands, he joined Oran "Hot Lips" Page's band in 1947 and began working as a session musician with King Records.
In early 1948 he left Page, formed his own small group, and was signed to Mercury Records where he cut his first single "Fine As Wine" with a B side "Rock Around the Clock" (not the same title made famous by Bill Haley).

For the Savoy label of Newark, New Jersey he recorded the instrumental "Corn Bread," which made #1 on the R & B charts in September 1948, and gave Singer a new popularity and nickname. His follow-up the following year, "Beef Stew," was a much smaller hit.
In the early and mid 1950s he recorded with Mercury, toured with R&B artists such as The Orioles and Charles Brown, and increasingly worked as a session musician. In 1958 he began recording with Prestige Records as a jazz soloist and performing at the Metropole Club in New York with leading jazz musicians such as Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins.

Hal Singer with Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge and Sol Yaged. 
In 1965, after touring Europe with Earl "Fatha" Hines' band, Singer stayed in France to settle near Paris, taking piano lessons with Art Simmons and Bernard Maury. There he resumed his recording

career on Black & Blue, Polydor, Futura, Atlantic, Pathé Marconi, Polydor, Le Chant du Monde, JSP Records, CBS, Adès, Carrère, Fnac Music and Azzura Music as a leader. His 1969 album, Paris Soul Food, featuring Singer on saxophone and singing; Robin Hemingway, vocals, arrangements and album production; and Manu Dibango, saxophone, organ and arrangements won a French Record Academy award for best international LP in 1969.
Hal has toured extensively throughout the intervening years, including tours in Africa where he played 28 countries during the 1970s, European tours with the group Rocket 88 (featuring Ian Smith and Charlie Watts) or with Duke Ellington's musicians and Asian tours with his own quartet. Hal also appeared in the award winning 1990 feature film "Taxi Blues" and was, himself, awarded the prestigious title of "Chevalier des Arts" in 1992, from the French Culture Minister, Jack Lang, then "Commandeur".
Singer appears on the 1981 live recording Rocket 88 with the UK-based boogie-woogie band Rocket 88. He appeared as an actor in the award-winning 1990 feature film Taxi Blues and, in 1992, was awarded the prestigious title of "Chevalier des Arts" by the French government.
A documentary film, Hal Singer, Keep the Music Going, was made by Haitian-American director Guetty Felin in 1999. It was made in
collaboration with the CNC in France (Centre Nationale de la Cinematographie) and the French cable music network Muzzik. The documentary wove into the narrative Singer's personal super 8 movies, archival images of the jazz era, and footage of Singer's home in Paris, in concert and teaching jazz to the younger generation of musicians in France. Spoken word poet Jessica Care Moore is featured in a duet with Singer. This documentary is the only film on Singer's career to date.   (Info edited from Wikipedia & 

6/26/58 Thurs., WNTA-TV channel-13, stereo-bc-Westinghouse -ART FORD' S FAMOUS JAZZ PARTY:: Red Allen (t,v) *Buddy Iannone (t) J.C.Higginbotham, *?Frank Higgins, * unknown (tb) Buster Bailey (cl) Hal Singer (ts) Willie"The Lion" Smith (p) Anthony Di Girolamo (vln) Chuck Wayne (g) Harry Sheppard (vib) Vinnie Burke (b) Cliff Leeman (d)  B.Iannone, a Newark trumpeter, *members of a studio band that was present due to the demands of the musician's union.

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

The latest news I could find about Hal is that he was still playing at concerts in 2010.

For “The chronological Hal Singer 1948 -51” Go here:

& here:

01 - Society Blues (Bechet)
02 - Won't You Please Come Home, Bill Bailey (Traditional)
03 - Royal Garden Blues (Williams, Williams)
04 - In the Groove (Bechet)
05 - Promenade aux Champs Élysées (Bechet)
06 - En Attendant le Jour (Bechet)
07 - Wolverine Blues (Morton)
08 - Egyptian Fantasy (Bechet, Reid)
09 - Blues in the Cave (Bechet)
10 - Dutch Swing College Blues (Morton)
11 - King Porter Stomp (Bechet)
12 - Kansas City Man Blues (Johnson, Williams)
13 - Together ()
14 - Apex Blues (Noone)
15 - Sleepy Time Gal (Alden, Egan, Lorenzo, Whiting)
16 - Of All the Wrongs... (Dowell, Payton, Smith)
17 - Darling Nelly Gray (Handy)
18 - Mets Ton Vieux Bonnet Gris (Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet) (Weinrich)
19 - Sidney's Wedding Day (Bechet)
20 - Original Dixieland One-Step (LaRocca)
21 - Avalon (DeSylva, Jolson, Rose)
22 - That's A-Plenty (Gilbert, Pollack)
23 - Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me (McCarron, Morgan, Swanstrom)

A big Thank you to for the link