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Erskine Hawkins
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (July 26, 1914-November 11, 1993)
    Born in Birmingham, Alabama
    Trumpeter and bandleader
    Recorded the songs 'Tuxedo Junction,' 'After Hours' and 'Tippin' In'
    He started on drums and trombone before moving to trumpet.
    He was touring New York City with the 'Bama State Collegians school band when he and the other musicians decided to go professional to earn more money.
    He cut his biggest hit, 'Tuxedo Junction,' solely to fill the leftover time at a recording session.
    Jazz critics accused him of grandstanding when he played.
    His father died fighting in France during World War I.
    He was nicknamed 'the 20th Century Gabriel' for his flamboyant style and ability to hit high notes.
    He attracted a loyal following that let him keep his big band together until 1953, well after the heyday of the big bands.
    Since the mid-80s, his birthday has been celebrated in Birmingham with a 'Function at the Junction' in Erskine Hawkins Park located near the original Tuxedo Junction (a streetcar junction that had been the center of black nightlife in the city during the 20s).

Credit: C. Fishel

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