William Count Basie Research Paper

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William Count Basie was born on August 21, 1904 and was raised in Red Bank, New Jersey. Basie was raised by Harvey Lee Basie and Lillian Ann Childs Basie. Harvey Lee worked as a Coachman and also as a caretaker for a wealthy judge. As cars became more popular, the coachmen occupation was not needed. As a result, he became a handyman for wealthy landowners. Lillian Basie worked as a laundress or a woman who washes, dries and folds your laundry. She also was a cake baker for several years. As young children Harvey and Lillian Basie played instruments such as the piano and mellophone. Lillian, being a piano player, paid Miss Vandevere (a piano instructor) 25 cents to teach William how to play the piano. Although he loved piano, his first love …show more content…

Oddly enough Bennie Moten dieing was the best thing possible for Count Basie. Basie took the job and ran with it. Starting in the 1940s he became a pioneer for many musicians. He could play many genres and played in a delicate manner, never boast but never let himself get lost in the music. Before the war was almost over William Count Basie's Stage name was just Bill Basie. William wanted to change his stage name so it would have more pizazz. Not knowing the influence he would have an announcer just called William “Count” because that is what every other jazz musician did. They just went by their middle names. A week later he play at The Reno Club in Kansas City which actually was the turning point in his career. As stated in (http://www.countbasietheatre.org/ ), Count Basie was now established a permanet band leader and since the performance was broadcasted thorugh the radio he began to collect followers from all over the country. In Chicago, John Hammon heard the band's broadcasted performance and immediately sent word to Basie asking him to contact him so they could meet up. John Hammon influenced many artists like Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and could tell he wanted to assist this Count Basie. It had been some time and a couple letters later and Count Basie still hadn't responded to Hammon.

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