|Birth: ||Apr. 25, 1904|
|Death: ||Jun. 10, 2009|
Jazz Guitarist. In a musical career spanning more than 80 years, he is probably best remembered for having played with the Ink Spots when the group still had original members. Raised in southern Texas, Mr. Long learned to play the ukulele at an early age, and got his professional start in 1925; he was a shoe-shiner, and occasional stage announcer, at the Rice Hotel, when Frank Davis' Louisiana Jazz Band needed a banjo player...he bought one on credit, and joined the group. After gaining experience, he took-up the guitar, and moved to Chicago, in 1933. There, he performed at the World's Fair, and in local clubs. Soon in demand as a studio musician, he joined jazz pioneers Lil Armstrong and Richard M. Jones in recording sessions for Decca in 1935 and 1936. (He can be heard on the record of Armstrong's signature piece "Just for a Thrill"). Mr. Long joined Fletcher Henderson's group, and in 1943 relocated with him to New York, where he played with the leading musicians of the day, including Earl "Fatha" Hines, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughn. In 1945, he was approached by Bill Kenny, who was in need of a guitar player for the Ink Spots; Mr. Long played, and sang back-up, with them at the Paradise Theater in Detroit, and participated in a number of their best-known records, lending his talent to such pieces as "The Sweetest Dream", "My Prayer", "Java Jive", and "Just for Me". As jazz evolved into swing, then into bebop, Mr. Long kept pace. His trio was to join USO tours of Korea and Japan, and, during the 1960s, he had his own version of the Ink Spots. After studying education at Los Angeles Community College, he ran a music school in New York. As part of the Ink Spots, he was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Mr. Long returned to Houston, where his daughter runs an Ink Spots museum, in 1996. At his death, he was working on a musical dictionary. He once said: "Music is defined as sound vibrations that are picked up by the ear. The music of today has sound and vibrations-heavy on the rhythm". (bio by: Bob Hufford)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Jun 13, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38276355