Possible connections between Bix and Lonnie.

by Albert Haim

Alonzo "Lonnie' Johnson and Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke were in St Louis at the same time.
- Bix between Aug 1925 and May 1926.
- Lonnie recorded for OKeh between Nov 1925 and May 1926. He lived in St. Louis between 1920 and 1926.

Lonnie recorded one number with Charles Creath's band in Nov 1925. The trombonist in the band was Thomas Ball "Sonny" Lee. A racially mixed session. Sonny Lee,a friend of Charles Ellsworth "Pee Wee" Russell was a member of Trumbauer's Arcadia Orchestra. Creath had been active in the Streckfus riverboats with Fate Marable.

From "Hear Me Talkin' To Ya."

Pee Wee Russell talking about his experience at the Arcadia Ballroom with Bix and Tram.
Sonny Lee, who later played with Jimmy Dorsey, was playing trombone with his band at the Arcadia, and Sonny used to live at my home. I came home one afternoon and there was Bix with Sonny in the living room playing Bix records. It gave me a kick-a big thrill to have Bix at my home. Among musicians, even at that time, Bix had a reputation.

According to Sudhalter and Evans, Bix and Pee Wee frequented John Estes' Chauffer's Club in the black side of St. Louis and jammed there after hours. One of the regulars in the Club was Creath. It is conceivable that Lonnie Johnson also frequented Estes' Club and that Bix and Lonnie jammed (perhaps with other musicians) in the Club.


An ad that has Bix and Sonny.
[linked image]

A photo that includes Bix and Sonny.

This message has been edited by ahaim on Oct 20, 2017 2:29 PM

Posted on Oct 20, 2017, 2:20 PM

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