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Yank Lawson

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An exciting Dixieland trumpeter with an appealing tone and strong melodic ideas, Yank Lawson was a popular attraction on the Dixieland scene for decades. He was with Ben Pollack's band during 1933-1935 and when it broke up, he was one of the many sidemen who became founding members of the Bob Crosby Orchestra. Lawson was featured on many records, both with the big band and Bob Crosby's Bobcats, during 1935-1938. He was with Tommy Dorsey during 1938-1939 and had plenty of solo space with Dorsey's Clambake Seven. After a period back with Crosby (1941-1942) and with Benny Goodman (1942), Lawson became a studio musician and started leading his own Dixieland sessions. He recorded extensively with Bob Haggart in the Lawson-Haggart band during the 1950s, had reunions with Crosby, played the musical part of King Oliver on Louis Armstrong's A Musical Autobiography, and had sessions with Eddie Condon, playing at Condon's club regularly during 1964-1966. In 1968, he and Haggart put together the World's Greatest Jazz Band, an all-star Dixieland group that was together for ten years. He continued playing with Haggart and other top Dixieland players at festivals and jazz parties up until his death at age 83. Yank Lawson recorded as a leader through the years for Bob Thiele's various labels (including Signature), Decca, Everest, ABC-Paramount, Project 3, Atlantic, World Jazz Records, Audiophile, and Jazzology.

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Birth Name:

John Rhea Lawson


03 May 1911 in Trenton, MO

Years Active:

'30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s