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 Carlton Coon

Carlton Coon

Birth
Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA
Death 4 May 1932 (aged 38–39)
Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Burial Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 68949265 · View Source
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The Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra was formed in 1919 and was at its peak between 1926 and 1932. The Orchestra was assembled by Carlton Coon and Joe Sanders in Kansas City. Coon was born in Rochester, MN in 1893 and his family moved to Missouri shortly after his birth and eventually moved to Kansas City while he was an infant. Sanders was born in Kansas in 1896. Sanders was known as "The Old Left Hander" because of his skills at baseball. He gave this up in the early twenties to make dance music his career.
The Orchestra was a pioneer in broadcasting their music over WDAF Radio from the Muehlbach Hotel at 1213 Wyandotte Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The broadcasts were in the early morning and the Nighthawks Club was formed for the great music being broadcast. Fans were encouraged to send in requests for songs by letter, telephone or telegram. That move became so popular that Western Union set up a ticket tape between Sanders' piano and Coon's drums so the telegrams could be acknowledged during the broadcasts. The group left Kansas City for the first time in 1924 for a three month engagement in Chicago. They moved into the Blackhawk Hotel. The members of the Orchestra at that time were Joe Richolson and Bob Pope, trumpets; Rex Downing, trombone; Harold Thiell, Joe Thiell and Floyd Estep, saxophone; Joe Sanders, piano; Russ Stout, banjo and guitar; "Pop" Estep tuba; Carlton Coon, drums. In the following years, the Nighthawks performmed at the Blackhawk every winter, broadcasting over the powerful WGN Radio station. Their reputation spread from coast to coast through the broadcasts and many records that they made for Victor. They undertook very successful road tours.
At their peak, each member of the Orchestra owned indentical Cord automobiles, each in a different color with the name of the Orchestra and the owner embossed on the rear. The Orchestra's popularity showed no signs of abating and their contract with MCA had another fifteen years to run in the spring of 1932 when disaster struck. Carlton Coon came down with a jaw infection and, on May 4,1932 at 38 years of age he passed away.
Joe Sanders attempted to keep the organization going, however, without Coon, the public did not support them. In 1935, he formed his own group and played until the early '40s when he became a part time orchestra leader and studio musician. In his latter years he suffered fron failing eyesight and other health problems. He passed away in 1965 after suffering a stroke. Some of the Nighthawk's most popular hits were Wabash Blues, After You've Gone, Alone In The Rain, Alone At Last, Hotsey Totsey, Stay Out Of The South, and the ever popular, Here Comes My Ball and Chain. Bio complements RED HOT JAZZ.


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  • Created by: Gary & Nancy Glenn Clampitt
  • Added: 26 Apr 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 68949265
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Carlton Coon (1893–4 May 1932), Find A Grave Memorial no. 68949265, citing Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Gary & Nancy Glenn Clampitt (contributor 47164411) .