Count Basie

Evan Celuch, Gracie Tasel

Early Years


  • Born August 21, 1904 in Red Bank New Jersey
  • Studied Jazz with his mother
  • Took piano lessons at a young age
  • Began as an accompanist
  • 25 cents for piano lessons at age 8
  • Attended school till 9th grade
  • Moved to st. Louis to be a silent film organist
  • Full name is William James Basie
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Influences

  • Harlem Pianist-James P Johnson- Fats Waller
  • John Hammond-music critic that made them go on tour to New York
  • Mother told him he will learn piano even if it kills him
  • He liked syncopated jazz
  • His father, Harvey Basie
  • Dad's job was a Gardner
  • His mother was a farmer
  • Performed at the Reno Club
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Time Period

  • 1930-end of 40's was when his music was official
  • World War two was happening
  • The Great depression
  • Franklin Roosevelt was president
  • During the "pre-swing" era
  • His family was not poor during the depression
  • Roosevelt offered a deal to take care of everyone during depression
  • War production fixed the economy
  • The African Americans were not employed-feared upsetting the white southern congress men
  • At Basies death Ronald Reagan was president
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Their Music

  • 1930's Group was Basie was the group pianist - rhythm guitarist Freddie Green - Bassist Walter Page - drummer Jo Jones - Sax Lester Young
  • Light modern Jazz
  • Very relaxed tone
  • Syncopated and stride style
  • 9 Grammy's
  • "One o'clock Jump"
  • "Basie Boogie" (Theme Song)
  • "Rock-A-By-Basie'
  • "Dicks Dream"
  • "John's idea"
  • "Swinging the blues
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Interesting Facts

  • Died on April 26, 1984 in Hollywood
  • Created "Swing'" in Jazz
  • Instead of Count, he wanted to be called Buck, Hoots, or Arkansas fats
  • Autobiography published about him about his death