James Lincoln Collier's strange account of Don Murray's death

by David Tenner

Talking about the gang control of nightclubs and cabarets in Chicago in the 1920's, and the hazards it posed for jazz musicians in the city, James Lincoln Collier writes in *Louis Armstrong: An American Genius,* p. 152

"A white clarinet player named Don Murray, considered one of the best clarinetists of his time, was casually beaten to death by gangsters for a relationship he was having with a mobster's girl friend." https://books.google.com/books?id=7iznCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA152

Leaving aside the fact that Murray died in Los Angeles, not Chicago, the generally accepted story is that he died falling off the running board of an automobile. Were there some rumors that the real reason Murray was found unconscious was because of a beating by gangsters rather than an (alcohol-induced, in all likelihood) accident?

Posted on Sep 11, 2017, 11:54 PM

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