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Herb Jeffries

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Biography

Although not really a jazz singer, Herb Jeffries was the last surviving member of the 1940 Duke Ellington Orchestra and a fine interpreter of swing songs and ballads. He performed with Erskine Tate in the early '30s, Earl Hines (1931-1934), and Blanche Calloway, before becoming the first black cowboy actor in a series of '30s Westerns. He gained his greatest fame while with Ellington (1940-1942), having a big hit in "Flamingo." Jeffries, who recorded with Sidney Bechet in 1940, worked as a single after leaving Ellington in 1942, recording on an occasional basis and remaining active into the mid-'90s.

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Birth Name:

Umberto Balentino

Born:

24 September 1916 in Detroit, MI

Genre
Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

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Contemporaries