Count Basie

By: Jonah Lever & Sarah Myers

Early Life

William "Count" Basie was born on August 21st, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey. As a kid he studied music and took piano lessons from his mom and an organ teacher. He also played drums in his school band. He had his professional debut with the Vaudeville Acts.


  • His Mom (Lillian) and his Dad (Harvey)
  • Jo Jones and Walter Paige
  • James P. Johnson and Fats Waller (To the Right)
  • Fellow Orchestra Lester Young, Herschel Evans, Buck Clayton, Harry Edison, and Dickie Wells
  • Blue Devils Band
  • Benny Moten

Time Period

  • Most popular songs "One O'clock Jump" (1937) "Basie Boogie" (1938) "Rock-A-Bye Basie" (1939), "Swingin' the Blues" (1941) and "Jumpin' at the Woodside" (1937)
  • Great Depression causes devastating economic catastrophe
  • Works Projects Administration making jobs for artists
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt establishes "The New Deal" to help the crisis by an approach
  • World War 2 and Great Depression

His Music

  • Said to be one of major musicians in jazz history
  • Light Percussion
  • Consists of a bandleader, a pianist, and an orchestra
  • Help from Bop Jazz
  • Swing Jazz
  • Recorded with other famous musicians such as Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn

Interesting Facts

  • Auto biography "Good Morning Blues" published year after death
  • Dubbed "Count" Basie by a Kansas City radio announcer
  • Died April 26th, 1984 in Hollywood Florida
  • 14 members in his band
  • He was elected into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010
  • Jazz Hall of Fame inductee August 22nd, 2014
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