Born: December 4, 1904 | Died: June 14, 1980 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
A raucous and energetic trumpet player, Herman Autrey is best known for accompanying piano great Fats Waller on his famous Victor sessions, in the 1930’s.
Born into a musical family (his father and two brothers were musicians) Autrey first played alto horn before switching to trumpet. He played in the band led by Charlie Johnson, and then became a regular associate of Fats Waller. He recorded extensively with Waller, alongside drummer Harry Dial, guitarist Al Casey, and sax man Gene Sedric. He still found time to gig and record with many other leading bands of the day, including those led by Fletcher Henderson and Claude Hopkins.
In the early and mid-40's he was active as sideman and leader playing with Stuff Smith and Una Mae Carlisle. In 1954 he sustained serious injuries in a road accident but returned to playing after a layoff lasting about a year. In the 60's he was a member of the popular Saints and Sinners band, touring Europe in 1968 & 1969. By the 70's he was playing less but continued to perform as a singer.