American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2010 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.† Page 5

Jazz Babies

Jazz didnít often give a bow of acknowledgment in vaudevilleís direction, but many of the jazz giants got their first gigs in vaudeville.† Some of those who served their apprenticeship either on stage in a Whitman Sisters show or playing for the show in their pit band were: Mary Lou Williams who was a fine jazz pianist and composer, the superb guitarist and singer Lonnie Johnson, Count Basie who created one of the most swinging ensembles in jazz band history, and Pine Top Smith the stride pianist who gave boogie-woogie a name.† What a band they must have had!