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 Music on the Deuces
photo
[Times photo: Bob Moreland]
Left to right: Louis Armstrong, and Trummy Young of the All-Stars appearing at the Manhattan Casino on March 3, 1957.
Remembering: Satchmo

Here is a partial list of musicians credited with playing on 22nd Street S, usually at the Manhattan Casino from the 1920s through the 1960s. Their names were collected from newspaper files, promoters' records and recollections from longtime residents.

Listen to audio of local musician Alvin Burns talking about playing at the Manhattan Casino.
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A.C. Jones and the Atomic Aces -- A regional rhythm-and-blues band during the 1960s. A.C. Jones played a distinctive, decorative white guitar.

Louis Armstrong -- Daniel Louis Armstrong, a trumpet genius, is considered by many to be not only the most influential jazz musician of the 20th century, but perhaps the most influential American musician regardless of genre. Hear: Stardust

LaVerne Baker -- She is considered a pioneer in the fusion of rhythm and blues and and rock n' roll during the 1950s.

Count Basie -- A pianist and later a bandleader, he became one of the more widely known figures in jazz and swing. He led a big band from 1935 virtually until his 1984 death in Hollywood, Fla. Hear: One O'Clock Jump

Bobby (Blue) Bland -- This blues singer, like his friend B.B. King, came from a Beale Street musical background. He is known for a string of big, 1960s' rhythm-and-blues hits, including the standard, Turn on Your Love Light. Hear: Farther Up The Road

Charles Brown -- A classical pianist with a chemistry degree, the mellow-voiced Brown had a string of rhythm-and-blues hits in the late 1940s and early '50s. His appeal leaped generations; he toured with Bonnie Raitt in the late 1980s-early '90s. Hear: Black Nite

Professor Alex Bradford -- A composer, vocalist and pianist, Bradford is considered to be among the top gospel artists of the post-World War II era.

Tiny Bradshaw -- He was a college psychology major who chose music as a career, first making a name in the 1930s swing era and later moving to rhythm and blues. He led bands, sang, played the piano and drummed. Hear: The Train Kept A-Rollin'

James Brown -- A huge figure in R&B and rock, the Godfather of Soul was an exciting, perpetual-motion screamer on stage. Brown began his career with The Flames, which melded into James Brown and the Famous Flames. His monumental '60s hits included Out of Sight, Papa's Got a Brand New Bag and I Got You (I Feel Good). Hear: I Got You (I Feel Good)

Cab Calloway -- A widely known entertainer and singer by the early 1930s, he attended law school but quit for the love of show business. His first big hit was Minnie the Moocher, a staple in his regular Cotton Club gig in Harlem. Calloway also appeared in several movies.

Ray Charles -- The author of a song called St. Pete Florida Blues, Charles first studied music at the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and Blind. Glaucoma took his sight at age 6. His highly recognizable vocal style is a mix of rock, rhythm and blues, country and gospel. What'd I Say was his first Top 10 hit. Hear: St. Pete Florida Blues

Savannah Churchill -- A Creole born in Louisiana and raised in Brooklyn, the sweet-voiced singer was considered a star in the late 1940s when she toured the nation. She had several hit records and appeared in a few movies.

Fess Clark -- A barber in St. Petersburg during the day, he played the piano at night at various venues, including the midnight show at the old La Plaza Theater downtown. St. Louis Blues was one of his favorite songs.

Rev. James Cleveland -- An influential gospel composer and director, he recorded a version of Ray Charles's Hallelujah I Love Her So that fused spiritual music with rhythm and blues.

Dorothy Love Coates -- A passionate gospel singer whose songs often carried a more than a hint of blues, Coates also made a point to publicly oppose segregation during the volatile 1950s and early '60s. Hear: 99 1/2 Won't Do

Sam Cooke -- One of eight sons of a preacher, Cooke began as a gospel singer. Twisting the Night Away was one of his hits. A charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he came to the Manhattan with a gospel group, the Soul Stirrers.

George Cooper -- He formed St. Petersburg's first big, African-American band, the George Cooper Orchestra. He led the Manhattan's house band from World War II until 1968. Ray Charles sat in with the group in the late 1940s.

Buster Cooper -- George Cooper's cousin, this St. Petersburg native and Gibbs High graduate became a world-renowned jazz trombonist, playing most notably with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. He played in the house band at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and formed the Cooper Brothers Band with his brother Steve playing the upright bass. Buster Cooper still plays regularly at the Garden Restaurant downtown.

Al Downing -- A pianist and legendary jazz figure in the St. Petersburg area, Downing taught music at Gibbs High School, where he put together a dance band, and later at St. Petersburg Junior College. He was the first black member of the St. Petersburg symphony.

Bill Doggett -- He organized his first band in 1938 and joined Lucky Millinder as pianist and arranger. The Bill Doggett Combo became a hot 1950s group, one of whose signature songs was Honky Tonk in 1956. Hear: Honky Tonk

Duke Ellington -- Born in 1899, James Edward Ellington was the son of a White House butler. Music authorities consider him to be the most influential composer in jazz history. He was a bandleader for a half-century and began recording during the 1920s. He also wrote musicals and movie scores and won several Grammys. Ellington played at the Melrose clubhouse and at a club called Joyland on Sixth Avenue S just off 22nd Street. Hear: It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)

Ella Fitzgerald -- She is considered one of the best, if not the best, female jazz singers of all time. She grew up poor, but got a big show business break when she won a talent show in 1934 at the Apollo Theater. She worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, the Inkspots, Tiny Bradshaw and Chick Webb, among others. Her first big hit was 1938's A-Tisket, A-Tasket. Hear: A Tisket A Tasket

Al Green -- He began as a gospel singer and became a popular soul singer in the 1970s. A big hit was Let's Stay Together. An ordained minister, Green continued to sing rhythm and blues into the 1990s. He sometimes danced for change outside the Manhattan.

Manzy Harris Orchestra -- Harris was a drummer from Tampa and his regional orchestra played regularly at the Manhattan. Harris gave many young musicians their start, among them Ray Charles in the 1940s.

Erskine Hawkins -- Nicknamed the 20th century Gabriel, the trumpeter played jazz, big band music and later, rhythm and blues. Tuxedo Junction was one of his signature songs. Hear: Bear Mash Blues

Fletcher Henderson -- With degrees in chemistry and math, Henderson couldn't get a job because of racism. He went into music and is credited with organizing the first widely recognized jazz big band during the 1920s. Hear: House of David Blues

Earl "Fatha" Hines -- One of the most highly regarded jazz pianists, Hines led bands from the 1920s to the 1940s. He made a career comeback in the 1960s that lasted until he died in 1983. Hear: Rock And Rye

Ivory Joe Hunter -- He started singing and playing the piano in the 1930s, but had his biggest hits in the 1950s with I Almost Lost My Mind and Since I Met You, Baby.

B. B. King -- Born Riley King in the Mississippi Delta where he worked as a sharecropper, he is usually considered the king of the electric blues guitar. In Memphis during the late 1940s, he was called the Beale Street Blues Boy, which later was shortened to Blues Boy, and finally to B.B. Hear: Sweet Sixteen

Dizzy Gillespie -- Perhaps the greatest jazz trumpeter and a leader of great bands, John Birks Gillespie as a child learned first to play the trombone. Bebop icon, songwriter and arranger, Gillespie's trademark was a bent trumpet which he usually played with his cheeks puffed out. Hear: Salt Peanuts

The Inkspots -- This prototype harmony group, which scored a hit with If I Didn't Care in 1939, helped set the stage for the 1950s' doo-wop sound.

Mahalia Jackson -- She is often considered the greatest gospel singer ever, male or female. Her 1948 recording of Move on Up a Little Higher became the best-selling gospel record of all time and propelled Jackson to super-stardom.

Illinois Jacquet -- He was considered one of the great jazz tenor saxophonists. He played with Cab Calloway, Count Basie and Lionel Hampton, among others.

Little Willie John -- The 1960s rhythm-and-blues artist was the first to record Fever in 1956, two years before Peggy Lee's version.

Buddy Johnson -- A classical pianist who found commercial success in rhythm and blues, Johnson's orchestra during the 1940s was a constant presence on the rhythm-and-blues hit parade and packed venues on its national tours. Hear: Fine Brown Frame

Ella Johnson -- Buddy Johnson's sister, she was the orchestra's vocalist during the 1940s and '50s, specializing in ballads and blues. Hear: Keep Me Close To You

Eddie Jones (known as Guitar Slim) -- Influential blues musician whose big hit was 1954's The Things I Used To Do, backed by Ray Charles on piano. Hear: The Things I Used To Do

Louis Jordan -- A rhythm-and-blues pioneer, the saxophonist led The Tympany Five starting in 1939. In a decade's time, Jordan had more than 50 R&B chart hits, including the humorous first one, I'm Gonna Leave You on the Outskirts of Town.

Jimmie Lunceford -- The Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra, a swing band, toured during the 1940s and was noted for its energetic shows. Hear: For Dancers Only

Frankie Lymon -- At 13 years old, he was lead singer with The Teenagers, a doo-wop group whose big hit was Why Do Fools Fall in Love, recorded in the mid-1950s.

Amos Milburn -- A pianist specializing in the eight-to-the-bar bass beat style known as boogie woogie, Milburn had 19 hits in the 1940s and '50s, including the Chicken Shack Boogie.

Lucky Millinder -- Born in Alabama, he grew up in Chicago, worked as a dancer, sang and in the 1930s, started leading jazz bands.

The Mills Brothers -- A harmony group the Mills family first organized in the 1930s stayed around for decades. Their first big hits were Tiger Rag and Dinah in the early '30s; their last smash was Glow Worm in the early '50s.

Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters -- Starting as a gospel singer, McPhatter became a major figure in rhythm and blues and soul. He organized the Drifters and had a big hit in 1954, Money Honey.

Little Junior Parker -- He was a harmonica player and blues belter who learned from the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf. Hear: Driving Wheel

Arthur Prysock -- He won much of his fame singing with the Buddy Johnson orchestra during the 1940s and early '50s. He did rhythm and blues, later becoming a balladeer.

Lou Rawls -- He began as a gospel singer, but switched to jazz and eventually became a highly regarded, silky crooner of the soul genre.

Otis Redding -- He started his career as a shouter in the Little Richard style, but became more of a balladeer and influential soul singer in the 1960s. His Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay became a No. 1 hit after Redding died in a plane crash in 1967, age 26.

Little Richard -- Shouting, trilling and yelling "Wooo!", Richard Wayne Penniman had hits such as Good Golly Miss Molly, Jenny Jenny, Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally.

The Five Royales -- A vocal group that combined doo-wop and blues, the Royales toured and recorded in the 1950s.

Noble Sissle -- He is considered a major composer and bandleader who emerged about 1915. He helped write shows such as Shuffle Along and during the 1920s, recorded more than two dozen vocals. Longtime 22nd Street resident Paul Barco recalled Sissle playing a dance hall on the street, but not the Manhattan. Sissle died in Tampa in 1975. Hear: Polka Dot Rag

Sister Rosetta Tharpe -- An energetic gospel singer, she began playing guitar at age 6. Later she sang in clubs, helping bring spiritual music into the pop mainstream. Hear: Strange Things Happen Every Day

Ike and Tina Turner -- Theirs was a scorching rhythm-and-blues and rock act that produced 25 hits for the R&B charts between 1960 and 1975. Their most famous record is often considered to be Rocket 88.

Sarah Vaughan -- Another top-tier jazz singer, Vaughan got her start with Earl "Fatha" Hines after winning a talent show at New York's Apollo Theater in the early 1940s. She later joined Billy Eckstine's orchestra and worked with bop greats Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Hear: They Can't Take That Away From Me

Clara Ward -- She led the flamboyant Ward Singers, a gospel group whose members are said to have worn huge wigs that on one occasion literally touched the ceiling of a venue they played. The group's commercial approach offended some gospel purists.

Albertina Walker and the Caravans -- Walker formed the Caravans in 1951, and the gospel group became one of the most popular on its circuit. It disbanded in the 1970s, but Walker kept singing, winning a Dove award in 1997 for the best traditional gospel song.

Thomas "Fats" Waller -- The pianist, known for his humor during shows, introduced to the jazz world the pipe organ, which Waller called "the God box." Ain't Misbehavin' and Honeysuckle Rose are two of his famous hits.

Chick Webb -- A drummer and leader during the big band era, Webb was a small man who fought handicaps such as tuberculosis and a humped back. In a "battle of the bands" in Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, Webb's orchestra is said to have trumped Benny Goodman's. Hear: Harlem Congo

Joe Williams -- Most widely known for his tenure as vocalist with Count Basie's orchestra, Williams kept singing through most of the 1990s until his death in '99. Hear: Every Day

Cootie Williams -- He played trumpet with the orchestras of Chick Webb, Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington before leading his own.


Sources: All Music Guide to Jazz; Biographical Dictionary of American Music; Soul Music; The Playboy Guide to Jazz; St. Petersburg Times files; interviews; Craig Pittman.
   

 
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