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The Griffin Brothers

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Based in Washington, DC, around Jimmy and Ernest ‘Buddy’ Griffin from Norfolk, Virginia, the Griffin Brothers Orchestra comprised Jimmy on trombone, Buddy on piano, Wilbur Dyer and Virgil Wilson on saxophone, with Jimmy Reeves and Emmett ‘Nab’ Shields on bass and drums. Introduced to Randy Wood in 1950, the band began recording for his label Dot Records; their biggest hits were the songs of their vocalists Margie Day - ‘Street-Walkin’ Daddy’ and ‘Little Red Rooster’, among others - and Tommy Brown - ‘Tra-La-La’ and ‘Weepin’ & Cryin’’. During a tour of the south in April 1950, Jimmy and Buddy were asked to participate in the Roy Brown session for DeLuxe that resulted in his biggest hit, ‘Hard Luck Blues’. However, they returned to their own band, which now included Noble ‘Thin Man’ Watts on tenor saxophone, and recorded with Dot Records until they split up in 1954. The brothers each made their own solo recordings for Dot after the split, and subsequently, Jimmy went to Atco Records in New York, while Buddy had some success in Chicago on the Chess Records label with vocalist Claudia Swann.

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