8 Songs, 34 Minutes


About Ritmo Kaliente

Webster played with some of the top big band leaders of the ‘30s and ‘40s, including Bennie Moten, Jimmie Lunceford, Cab Calloway, Charlie Barnet, and Count Basie. Webster was first taught trumpet by an uncle. He attended Fisk University in the mid ‘20s, where he presumably met Lunceford, who attended Fisk around the same time. After college he returned to Kansas City and became an embalmer for a time before returning to music. From 1927-1934 he played with George E. Lee, Bennie Moten, Jap Allen, Lunceford, Tommy Douglas, and Eli Rice. He rejoined Lunceford's band in 1935, staying until 1944, at which time he joined Calloway's orchestra. Webster worked with Calloway periodically during the ‘40s and ‘50s, working with other bandleaders as well, including Barnet in 1946-7 and 1952-3. He also played with Sy Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and Eddie Wilcox (who had taken over Lunceford's band after the leader's death in 1947). Webster played with Basie in the early ‘50s. He retired from playing music full time in 1953 and took a job with the U.S. Immigration Service; he also worked for the New York City subway system. Webster continued to play and record intermittently into the early ‘60s before dying of a respiratory disease in 1966. ~ Chris Kelsey