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Eddie Lang
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Musician
    (October 25, 1902-March 26, 1933)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Salvatore Massaro
    Pioneering jazz guitarist
    Played with Joe Venuti, Bix Beiderbecke, Paul Whiteman and Bing Crosby
    Appeared in the films 'The King of Jazz' (1930) and 'The Big Broadcast' (1932)
    Died of complications from a tonsillectomy
    Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame (1996)
    He took violin lessons for eleven years before switching to guitar.
    He was a pool shark and gambler.
    His last words to his wife were 'Get me a racing form, I want to pick a winner.'
    He was described as creating 'the basic vocabulary of jazz guitar.'
    Blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson called him 'the nicest man I ever worked with.'
    Bing Crosby had encouraged him to undergo the tonsillectomy in preparation for a film in which he would have a speaking part.

Credit: C. Fishel


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