Thursday, 31 August 2017

Roy Castle born 31 August 1932

Roy Castle, OBE (31 August 1932– 2 September 1994) was an English dancer, singer, comedian, actor, television presenter and musician. In addition to being an accomplished jazz trumpet player, he could play many other instruments. Following a versatile career as a performer on stage, television and film, he became best known to British television viewers as the long-running presenter of the children's series Record Breakers.

Castle was born in Scholes, near Holmfirth, West Riding of Yorkshire. The son of a railwayman, he was a tap dancer from an early age and trained at Nora Bray's school of dance with Audrey Spencer who later turned out to have a big dance school, and after leaving Holme Valley Grammar School (now Honley High School) he started his career as an entertainer in an amateur concert party. As a young performer in the 1950s, he lived in Cleveleys near Blackpool and appeared there at the local Queen's Theatre, turning professional in 1953 as a stooge for Jimmy Clitheroe and Jimmy James. By 1958 he was appearing at the Royal Variety Show. As a singer, he released one charting single in 1960, the Christmas song "Little White Berry".
In 1965, Castle starred with Peter Cushing in the film Dr. Who and the Daleks, the first of two cinematic spin-offs from the popular BBC television series. He also appeared in Dr. Terror's House of Horrors as a jazz musician suffering a curse after copying voodoo tunes. He also appeared in Carry On Up the Khyber in 1968, and in the TV musical Pickwick for the BBC in 1969.

In the 70s he appeared again in Pickwick, touring the country, starring alongside Harry Secombe and the show was recorded again, which show Sir Harry had originally starred in the West End in 1963. In 1973, Castle teamed up with the actor and comedian Ronnie Barker in the original one-off called "Another Fine Mess."
Between 1958 and 1969, Castle recorded three LPs. One of these, Songs For A Rainy Day was recorded in 1966 for Columbia and was reissued in the UK on CD by EMI Gold, re-titled Isn't This A Lovely Day. The record features twelve songs with rain as the theme. British jazz players of the day played on the record and it features jazz arrangements by Victor Graham covering a variety of styles such as big band. Roy also recorded many singles from 1958 until 1993. He recorded for Pye, Philips, Columbia, MGM, United Artists and a few independent labels.

Between 1967 and 1968 Castle co-starred with Jimmy Edwards in the London West End run of the comedy farce show Big Bad Mouse when Eric Sykes had to withdraw because of illness. The show was resident at the Shaftesbury Theatre and, being loosely scripted, it offered both Edwards and Castle the chance to freely ad-lib and generally break the fourth wall with the audience, Castle breaking into trumpet performances while Edwards walked into a front stall seat to read a newspaper, tap dancing and firing ping-
Roy with Cilla Black
pong balls into the stalls. He also once stood in for Bruce Forsyth hosting The Generation Game in 1975 while Forsyth was ill. He made many appearances on BBC TV's long running variety show The Good Old Days, making huge use of his multi instrumental and performing skills.
In 1972, he first presented Record Breakers, a children's show, and he remained host for over 20 years. He recorded the theme song for the show himself. While presenting the show he broke nine world records himself, including Fastest tap-dance 1,440 taps per minute – 24 taps per second, set on 14 January 1973, a record that has never been bettered. / Longest wing walk – 3 hours, 23 minutes. / Playing the same tune on 43 different instruments in four minutes.
He was a host of the show up until a few months before his death in 1994, alongside Norris and Ross McWhirter, Fiona Kennedy and Cheryl Baker. From then on, hosting was taken over by Baker and former athlete Kriss Akabusi. It continued for 29 years until 2001, one of Britain's longest-running shows.
Castle was found to have lung cancer in January 1992. He was predicted to live only another 6 months. He underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy and went into remission later that year. A non-smoker, he blamed his illness on passive smoking during his years of playing the trumpet in smoky jazz clubs. On 26 November 1993, Castle announced that his illness had returned, and once again underwent treatment in the hope of overcoming it.
Several months later, he carried out the high-profile Tour of Hope to raise funds for the erection of the building that would become the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, which is the only British charity dedicated solely to defeating lung cancer. By this stage, however, his condition was deteriorating and recovery was looking highly unlikely.
He died in Buckinghamshire on 2 September 1994, two days after his 62nd birthday.
(Info edited from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Johnny Mann born 30 August 1928

John Russell Mann (August 30, 1928 – June 18, 2014) was an American arranger, composer, conductor, entertainer, and recording artist. He is amongst the giants of easy listening music.
John was born in Baltimore, where his father, Elsworth, was a building superintendent. His mother, Lillian, his primary musical influence, taught piano and voice. After high school, Mr. Mann served in the Army during the Korean War, playing trombonein the Army Field Band.
After mustering out he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as an arranger and music director for movie studios. In 1956, he was choral director for a short-lived variety show, “NBC Comedy Hour,” that led to the creation of the Johnny Mann Singers and signed a recording contract with the Liberty label They proceeded to dominate the airwaves with their trademark stylish, skilfully realised and undemanding blend of smooth voices and gentle melody. They were involved in several classic rock 'n' roll and rockabilly recording sessions for Johnny Burnette (including "God, Country and My Baby"), The Crickets and several 1957–1958 sessions with Eddie Cochran, who was also signed to Liberty Records in Hollywood.
Mann was credited as "Johnnie Mann" in some of his earlier works. The '60s saw the Mann Singers host the TV series Stand Up and Cheer, which ran for a total of three years (the group was a clean-cut bunch, wearing white pants and skirts, red V-neck sweaters, and white turtlenecks, the complete opposite of the burgeoning hippie/psychedelic rock movement that was sweeping the country). Handsome and exuberant and described as ‘looking like an airline pilot and acting like he¹s flying just as high’, Johnny Mann worked as musical director on The Danny Kaye Show and was the musical director for the 1967-69 ABC-TV late night talk show, The Joey Bishop Show.
The Johnny Mann Singers' instrumental "Cinnamint Shuffle (Mexican Shuffle)" hit the US Pop chart in 1966. Their next single, a cover version of "Up, Up and Away", became the hit version of the song on the UK Singles Chart, over taking the US hit version by The 5th Dimension. The version also won a Grammy Award in 1968 in the Best Performance by a Choir of Seven or More Persons category. In total, Mann was nominated for five Grammys, two of which he won.

During this time, Mann and his Singers began issuing albums, such as Invisible Tears, We Can Fly! Up-Up and Away, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. In addition to the Johnny Mann Singers, the leader/singer served as musical director for the original Alvin & the Chipmunks TV series, supplying the voice of the character Theodore. As bandleader with the Johnny Mann Singers, he and the group recorded approximately 40 albums.
He has composed, arranged, and produced an infinite number of radio and TV commercials/jingles, the most famous being the "Sounds of the City" jingle for KSFO in San Francisco, California. He hosted the TV series titled Stand Up and Cheer (1971–1974), where his groups most notable alumna was Vicki Lawrence. Mann and has worked with the likes of George Gobel, Johnny Mathis, Nat "King" Cole, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Julie London, and Steve Allen, in addition to serving as Danny Kaye's conductor on an extended tour.
Incredibly patriotic, Mann has been the recipient of countless awards from Veterans groups, and performed at the White House two times for then-president Richard Nixon. Mann also hosted celebrity golf tournaments and often serves as a speaker for local charity fundraisers in his hometown of Palm Springs.
In 2010, Mann was awarded an honorary doctor of humanities degree from Anderson University in Anderson, SC. In April 2014 at the age of 85, he was a guest conductor of The South Carolina School of the Arts, at Anderson University's spring gala where he led the university choir in performing the Johnny Mann Singers arrangement of "Up, Up and Away". At the song's conclusion, the audience of about 1,000 stood in Mann's honour.
On June 18, 2014, Johnny Mann died of heart failure at age 85 at his home in Anderson, South Carolina.
(Compiled from Wikipedia & All Music)

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Jimmy C. Newman born 29 August 1927

Jimmy Yves Newman (August 29, 1927 – June 21, 2014), better known as Jimmy C. Newman (the C stands for Cajun), was an American country music and cajun singer-songwriter and long-time star of the Grand Ole Opry.
Newman was born near Big Mamou, Louisiana. As a child, he listened more to Gene Autry than to the Cajun music of the area, but had a number of Cajun songs in his repertoire when, as a teenager, he joined Chuck Guillory’s Rhythm Boys. He recorded a few unsuccessful sides for J.D. Miller’s Future label in the 1940s, but Miller persuaded Fred Rose in Nashville, Tennessee to give the young singer an opportunity. In 1953, he was signed to Dot Records and the following year recorded "Cry, Cry Darling", which reached No. 4 on the country chart. This was to become the first of 33 career hits to land on Billboard charts.
His recording success led the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana, to hire him as a regular performer. His next four records all reached Top 10 status, and in 1956 he was invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. That following year he released his biggest hit, "A Fallen Star", which spent two weeks at No. 2 and also entered the top 25 of the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
As an established artist, he began to integrate his Cajun influences into his music and recorded "Alligator Man", which was a top 25 record and continues to be his theme song at the Opry. Among his 14 hits on Decca was "D.J. for a Day", released in December of 1963, it went to #9. The song was written by an "unknown" songwriter signed to Jimmy's song publishing company. The writer was Tom T. Hall and the song was his first recorded hit. Other songs to note on Decca were "Artificial Rose" a #8 hit released in October 1965, and the top 10 hit "Back Pocket Money" from spring of 1966 (both Tom T. Hall songs).
His final hits came in 1965 and 1966 with "Artificial Rose" and "Back Pocket Money". Other labels he has recorded for include Rounder, RCA, Plantation, La Louisiane, and Delta.
When his commercial popularity declined he returned to Cajun music, forming his Cajun Country band and taking the high energy fiddle- and accordion-based music of his native Louisiana to fans around the world. In 1976, his recording of the Cajun French song, "Lâche pas la patate" ("The Potato Song") earned gold record status in Canada. In 1991, Newman and Cajun Country earned a Grammy nomination for their album, Alligator Man.
Entertainer Dolly Parton has long credited Newman with enabling her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, in 1959, describing how when she appeared at the Opry unannounced at age 13, asking to sing, Newman relinquished one of his two allotted slots to allow Parton to perform.
In 2000, he was inducted into the North American Country Music Association’s International Hall of Fame and in 2004 was inducted into the Cajun Hall of Fame. He is also honoured in the Cajun Music Hall of Fame in Lafayette, Louisiana, and in 2009 he was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Newman and his wife made their home on their 670-acre (2.7 km2) ranch outside of Nashville in Murfeesboro. He continues to tour and appears regularly at the Grand Ole Opry. In 2006, he joined a select group of entertainers who have marked 50 years of Opry membership.
Newman and his wife made their home on their 670-acre (2.7 km2) ranch outside of Nashville near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Mr. Newman, by all accounts, knew how to hold success. Never a chart dynamo, he was a steadily entertaining personality for a majority of country music's commercial life and a spice of life for more than a half-century on the Opry. He was a devoted husband to Mae Newman: Their marriage lasted more than 60 years. He was a cultural ambassador for south-eastern Louisiana, and a kind and gracious presence offstage. And he was a smiling, engaging performer to the end. His final Opry performance came on  June 6 2014.

Newman died of cancer, in Nashville, on June 21, 2014.
(compiled from Wikipedia: & 

Monday, 28 August 2017

Donald O'Connor born 28 August 1928

Donald David Dixon Ronald O’Connor (August 28, 1925 – September 27, 2003) was one of the most likeable and nimble of all Hollywood’s song-and-dance-men, who retained his youthful looks and casual charm throughout a career spanning well over 50 years. Perhaps his most famous performance was as Gene Kelly's sidekick in the musical Singin’ in the Rain (1952).
Though he considered Danville, Illinois to be his hometown, O’Connor was born in St. Elizabeth Hospital in Chicago. His parents, Effie Irene (née Crane) and John Edward "Chuck" O'Connor, were vaudeville entertainers. His father's family was from County Cork, Ireland. When O'Connor was only a few years old, he and his sister Arlene were in a car crash outside a theatre in Hartford, Connecticut; O'Connor survived, but his sister was killed. Several weeks later, his father died of a heart attack while dancing on stage in Brockton, Massachusetts O'Connor at the time was being held in the arms of the theatre manager, Mr. Morris Sims.
O'Connor began performing in movies in 1937. He appeared opposite Bing Crosby in Sing You Sinners at age 12. Paramount Pictures used him in both A and B films, including Tom Sawyer, Detective and Beau Geste. In 1940, when he had outgrown child roles, he returned to vaudeville.
On his 18th birthday in August 1943, during World War II O'Connor was drafted into the United States Army. Before he reported for induction on Feb. 6, 1944, Universal already had four O’Connor films completed. They rushed production to complete three more by that date. With a backlog of seven features, deferred openings kept O’Connor’s screen presence uninterrupted during the two years he was overseas. Upon his return, a merger in 1946 had reorganized the studio as Universal-International.
In 1949, he played the lead role in Francis, the story of a soldier befriended by a talking mule. The film was a huge success. As a consequence, his musical career was constantly interrupted by production of one Francis film per year until 1955. O'Connor later said the films "were fun to make. Actually, they were quite challenging. I had to play straight in order to convince the audience that the mule could talk."
In 1952 O'Connor signed a three-picture deal with Paramount. It was because of the Francis series that O'Connor missed playing Bing Crosby's partner in White Christmas. O'Connor was unavailable because he contracted an illness transmitted by the mule, and was replaced in the film by Danny Kaye. O'Connor's role as Cosmo the piano player in Singin' in the Rain earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy or Musical. The film featured his memorable rendition of "Make 'Em Laugh". O'Connor said he smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day during filming.

Another notable role was as Tim Donahue in the 20th Century Fox musical There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), which featured Irving Berlin's music and also starred with Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Dan Dailey, Mitzi Gaynor and Johnnie Ray.
O'Connor was a regular host of NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour. He hosted a colour television special on NBC in 1957, one of the earliest colour programs to be preserved on a colour kinescope. In 1954, he starred in his own television series, The Donald O'Connor Show on NBC. In 1968, O'Connor hosted a syndicated talk show also called The Donald O'Connor Show. He suffered a heart attack in 1971.
O'Connor overcame alcoholism after being hospitalized for three months after collapsing in 1978. His career had a boost when he hosted the Academy Awards, which earned him two Primetime Emmy nominations. He appeared as a gaslight-era entertainer in the 1981 film Ragtime, notable for similar encore performances by James Cagney and Pat O'Brien. It was his first feature film role in 16 years.
O'Connor appeared in the short-lived Bring Back Birdie on
Donald with Debbie Reynolds
Broadway in 1981 and continued to make film and television appearances into the 1990s, including the Robin Williams film Toys as the president of a toy-making company. He had guest roles in 1996 in a pair of popular TV comedy series, The Nanny and Frasier. O'Connor had undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery in 1990, and he nearly died from double pneumonia in January 1998.
O'Connor's last feature film was the Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau comedy Out to Sea, in which he played a dance host on a cruise ship. O’Connor was still making public appearances well into 2003.
Donald O’Connor died from complications of heart failure on September 27, 2003, at age 78 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, in Woodland Hills, California. His remains were cremated and buried at the Forest Lawn–Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.

(Compiled mainly from Wikipedia)

This musical sequence from the 1952 film SINGIN' IN THE RAIN features Donald O'Connor in perhaps the most iconic and gleefully performed dance scene ever filmed for the movies

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Tony Crombie born 27 August 1925

Anthony John "Tony" Crombie (August 27, 1925 - October 18, 1999) was an English jazz drummer, pianist, bandleader and composer.  Known as The Baron by his colleagues, was regarded as one of the finest jazz drummers and bandleaders to emerge in Britain, and as an energizing influence on the British jazz scene across six decades.
Born in Bishopsgate, London, England, Tony Crombie was a fine self taught drummer, composer and arranger as well as a talented, but occasional, pianist and vibraphonist. He began playing in wartime clubs at the age of sixteen, Mazurka Club (1941), and Number One Rhythm Club before joining Carlo Krahmer in 1943. Following work with Tito Burns and Johnny Claes in the mid 1940s he toured with Duke Ellington in 1948 as part of Jack Fallon's Trio.
In December 1948, he helped start the short-lived Club Eleven in London, which became a crucial focal point for the emerging bebop scene, and worked closely with Ronnie Scott, Johnny Dankworth and others, as well as forming his own Septet at the club. He was the drummer in the Victor Feldman Trio in 1954-5, prior to Feldman's move to the USA.
He spent two and a half years from 1953 with the renowned Ronnie Scott Orchestra as well as accompanying Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Lena Horne on their UK tours during the 1950s. He also led his own bands, including an Orchestra featuring Dizzy Reece, Les Condon (tp), Joe Temperley, Sammy Walker (ts), Lennie Dawes (bs), Harry South (p), Ashley Kozak (b) which made two recordings for Decca Records in 1954, one of which also featured vocalist Annie Ross and a track with Bobby Breen.
In 1956, Crombie set up a rock and roll band he called The Rockets, which at one point included future Shadows bassist Jet Harris. The group was modelled after Bill Haley's Comets. Tony Crombie and his Rockets released several singles for Decca Records and Columbia Records, including "Teach You To Rock" produced by Norrie Paramor, which is regarded as the first British rock and roll record and which made the UK top 30 in October 1956. By 1958 The Rockets had become a jazz group, including Scott and Tubby Hayes.
He led another band as Tony Crombie and his Men in 1958 and in 1959 he formed Jazz Inc which included Bobby Wellins and Stan Tracey. Jazz Inc survived for just 17 weeks but although a commercial failure it was reckoned by fans and critics to be a major musical success. In 1960 Crombie established a residency at a hotel in Monte Carlo. On his return to England, he became the house drummer at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, where he accompanied visiting American stars like Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Jimmy Witherspoon. He also performed in Israel and the USA, and began writing for films and television.
In 1963, Miles Davis recorded his composition "So Near, So Far" for his Seven Steps to Heaven album, and Joe Henderson would make it the title track for his 1992 tribute album to Davis. Several more of his tunes were taken up by major jazz artists, including "That Tune" and "Restless Girl" by Stephane Grappelli, with whom he often worked.
As the audience for jazz diminished through the 1960s Crombie worked with rock musicians Alan Haven, Mike Carr and Georgie Fame through into the 1970s. Much travelled as a leader he worked with a quartet in Monte Carlo (1960), Israel (1963), and bookings with organist Alan Haven in Las Vegas (1964 -67). He also worked with pianist Alan Clare and collaborated with him on a number of compositions. He also toured with artists like Lena Horne, Carmen McRae, Tony Bennett, and Jack Jones, and played piano on the Annie Ross album Skylark.
He continued on a free-lance basis through the 1980s and 1990s with arranging and composing for TV and films among his band leading and other musical activities until a slow recovery from a broken arm led to club work drying up.

Crombie died in 1999, aged 74.  (compiled from &  Wikipedia) 

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Don Bowman born 26 August 1937

Don Bowman (August 26, 1937 – June 5, 2013) was an American country music singer, songwriter, comedian and radio host. He recorded for RCA Victor between 1964 and 1970, charting in the Top 40 with the novelty hit single "Chit Akins, Make Me a Star". Bowman worked at several radio stations, including KRZK in Branson, Missouri.

He was born Rubel Don Bowman to Jack and Fern Bowman in
Lubbock, Texas. Don attended school in Lorenzo, Texas, graduated from NMMI in Roswell, N.M., and he later attended Texas Tech in Lubbock. He fulfilled a childhood ambition by becoming a disc jockey, working initially in Lubbock and Littlefield, at times with Waylon Jennings. The two men became friends and later wrote many songs together.
As a singer, Don began his recording career with Coward of the Alamo on La Gree in 1961. The 45 received some action and led to a recording contract with RCA which resulted in eight album releases between 1964 and 1970.   His biggest single to date is Chit Akins, Make Me A Star which spent four months on the country charts in 1964 peaking at #7 (Cash Box) and #14 (Billboard).


Other singles of note include Dear Harlan Howard, Giddyup Do-Nut, For Loving You with Skeeter Davis, Folsom Prison Blues #2, and Poor Old Ugly Gladys Jones with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Bobby Bare.  His highest charting albums to date are Our Man in Trouble and Funny Way To Make An Album, which received a Grammy nomination in 1967 for Best Comedy Performance.   He subsequently recorded for Mega, Lone Star, and Lard Bucket.
As a comedian, Don has appeared on the big screen, the small screen, on stage, and on record.  He played Jeepers in a pair of motion pictures -- The Las Vegas Hillbillys and Hillbillys in a Hanuted House.  He portrayed Seemore Miles when he opened shows for Moe Bandy in Branson.  He also was the comedian on the syndicated Bill Anderson Show.
 He received the inaugural award as Comedian of the Year from the Country Music Association (CMA) getting the nod over fellow parodists, Ben Colder and Homer & Jethro in 1967 after receiving the Favourite Country Comedy Recording Artist Award at the 1966 Billboard Country Awards from Roy Acuff.  Willie Nelson's opening act from 1981 through 1986 was also named "Comedian of the Year" by Record World and Cash Box.
Bowman was also the original host of the radio show American Country Countdown. He hosted the show from its inception on October 6, 1973, through April 1978, after which Bob Kingsley (who had been ACC's producer since 1974) took over as host. Bowman's song "Wildwood Weed" later became a hit for Jim Stafford, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974.
He was Willie Nelson's opening act from 1981 through 1986 and after that turned up at various Southern radio stations amusing listeners with his ad-libs and personality. After moving to Branson in the early 1990s, he portrayed “Seemore Miles” for the Moe Bandy Show.

Bowman had been confined to a nursing facility since a stroke in 2008. He died from complications from a stroke on June 5, 2013, in Forsyth, Missouri, at the age of 75.
(compiled from various sources, including Wikipedia)

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Alphonse Trent born 24 August 1905

Alphonse "Alphonso" Trent (August 24*, 1905 – October 14, 1959) was an American jazz pianist and territory band leader. As leader, he recorded only eight sides: four in 1928, two in 1930, and two in 1933.
Pianist and band leader Alphonso Trent was born August 24, 1905 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He led one of the most influential territory bands operating in the Southwest in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Budd Johnson, Louis Jordan, Herschel Evans, Dickey Wells, Mary Lou Williams, Tyree Glenn, Jimmie Crawford and Buddy Tate all acknowledge the influence of the Trent Orchestra on their early careers. Tate, for instance, stated that the Trent band was "outplaying Duke....I really think so. If they would have kept going they would have been as big as Duke or any of them."
Trent attended Shorter College in Little Rock where he began playing in the capital city with a group called the Syncho Six, led by Eugene Cooke. The band featured Trent on piano, Crooke on banjo, Edwin Swayzee on trumpet, James Jeter on saxophone, vocalist John Fielding, A. G. Godley on drums and the legendary trombonist Leo "Snub" Mosley, who was then only fifteen years old. Other important jazz musicians who played with Trent over the years include Hayes Pillars, Stuff Smith, T. Holder, Chester Clark, Peanuts Holland, Cleo Roran and Charlie Christian.

 In 1925 the band went to Texas using the name The Alphonso Trent Orchestra. They played an engagement at the Adolphus Hotel (1315 Commerce Street, Dallas, Texas) that lasted eighteen months, a record length of time unequalled by any other black band in the region (the band is best known for this accomplishment). This engagement was also broadcast on the 50,000 watt radio station WFAA and these broadcasts were the first of their kind for a black orchestra, reaching an audience throughout the Central United States and Canada.

From 1926-27 Trent's group toured Texas playing the Gunter Hotel;(205 East Houston Street) in San Antonio, the Waco Hotel (where they met the young trumpeter Harry James), the Austin Hotel, the Fort Worth Hotel, the Galvez Hotel (21st Street and Seawall Blvd.) in Galveston, the Rice Hotel (903 Texas Street) in Houston, and opened the new Plaza Hotel (100 Villita Street) in San Antonio. They also performed the inaugural ball of Texas's first woman governor, Miriam A. Ferguson.

 From 1927 through 1929 the Trent Orchestra travelled east, playing in Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, Buffalo, Stanley, Ontario, and took their only New York City date at the Savoy Ballroom. During this period the band made its first recordings (four songs for the Gennett Company in Richmond, Indiana), and it did "battle" with a band led by the great Louis Armstrong. The band was forced back to Fort Smith, Arkansas after a fire at the Plantation Club in Cleveland, Ohio destroyed the Trent Orchestra's instruments and library.
 The Alphonso Trent Orchestra made one last road trip in the winter of 1933. The end finally came in Albany, New York, at the Kenmore Hotel (145 E 23rd Street). Trent eventually formed a smaller group, touring the Dakotas, Wyoming, Colorado and Texas.
After World War II, Trent settled permanently in Fort Smith to manage the family’s real estate holdings and, beginning in 1953, the city’s first housing project, Elm Grove Homes. He remained active in the music business but restricted his performances to local nightclubs.  Trent died of a heart attack in Fort Smith on October 14, 1959. He is buried in the city’s Oak Cemetery.
 (compiled mainly from redhotjazz) *(Some sources give birth month as October)

Alphonso Trent was honored by UAFS Art Faculty and Students in September 2016 through the design and painting of an enormous mural on the north side of the UAFS Blue Lion music venue. Bryan Alexis, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, created the art while his students, part of a special topics mural painting class, painted the work. “I am not from Fort Smith, and since I knew the mural was going on the side of a music venue I began to research famous musicians from Fort Smith. When I discovered Alphonso Trent I knew the search was over. He was the perfect subject,” Alexis stated. The mural includes a piano installation.