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When You're Smiling

J.C. Higginbotham


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May 11, 1906 - May 26, 1973


J.C. Higginbotham is featured on a June 1958 episode of "Art Ford's Jazz Party."


Red Allen, trumpet
Buddy Iannone, trumpet
J.C. Higginbotham, trombone
Buster Bailey, clarinet
Hal Singer, tenor sax
Willie "The Lion" Smith, piano
Anthony Di Girolamo, violin
Chuck Wayne, guitar
Vinnie Burke, bass
Cliff Leeman, drums

A trombonist who would come to be considered the most important of the swing era J.C. Higginbotham began his career in Chicago during the 1920s.

He Played with the "Fletcher Henderson Orchestra" in New York and became a prominent member of the Luis Russell's band during the late '20s.

When Louis Armstrong assumed control of the group in 1937 he remained until 1940.

Featured mainly as a soloist and sideman, Higginbotham found an ideal collaborator in Henry "Red" Allen with whom made the first recordings ever released under his own name at a session on February 5, 1930.

The two resulting sides "Give Me Your Telephone Number" and "Higgenbotham Blues" were issued as "J.C. Higgenbotham and His Six Hicks."

During the 1960s he toured Europe and Scandinavia with pianist Sammy Price, before working briefly once again with Louis Armstrong.

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