Those with a sense of history may remember Calvin Owens for his two long tours of duty with B. B. King, serving as B.B.'s first music director during the 1953-57 affiliation ( the Kent Years) and then as bandleader for King's orchestra from 1978 until 1984. Among the results of their collaboration was a 1983 Grammy Award-winning album called “Blues n Jazz,” for which Owens wrote all the arrangements.
Owens, born in New Orleans Fifth Ward, migrated with his mother to Houston, Texas, where at thirteen he began playing trumpet. Joining a vaudeville show after high school, Owens later met B. B. in 1953 then toured and led his band till 1957, when he returned to Houston. Upon his return, Owens became a songwriter/arranger/session player/A&R rep for the famed Peacock Record Company under Don Robey. During that period, Owens recorded with T-Bone Walker, Amos Milburn, Junior Parker, and David Fathead Newman to name a few.