Earl Hines

Earl Hines moved from Pittsburgh to Chicago in 1924, and by the end of the decade had made a series of recordings with Louis Armstrong. Hines started out playing stride piano but quickly decided that he wanted to play in a hornlike fashion with his right hand while playing countermelodies with his left. He developed a style which combined fast arpeggios, octave melodies, and crashing chords. During the 1930s his big band played often at Chicago's Grand Terrace Ballroom, where a radio announcer gave him the nickname "Fatha". Hines' big band had several hits including "Stormy Monday Blues" and "Jelly Jelly", with vocalist Billy Eckstine. Hines was the first to hire vocalist Sarah Vaughn. Some of Hines' big band members later became jazz pioneers themselves: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie. In 1965 Hines performed at the Newport and Monterey Jazz festivals to tremendous ovations, and that year was elected to te DB Hall of Fame. (b. Duquesne, PA 12/28/03, d. 4/22/83, Oakland, CA)