Calvin Owens Calvin Owens

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.

Owens recorded continually while playing all around the Houston area for many years, refusing to be pigeon-holed as a jazz and blues musician. Owens would later return to touring with B. B. King from 1978 through 1984, notching a Grammy as the bandleader for King on the album “Blues 'n' Jazz.” Owens would then move to Belgium where he stayed and recorded sporadically for a decade before returning to Houston in 1993.

This time, Owens would record not only blues but country music, Spanish music and Hip-Hop. His numerous abilities to fluidly cross between genres can be heard in any number of his subsequent releases. Two recordings in the blues genre garnered him critical acclaim for his solo album, “Ain't Gonna Be Yo' Dog No Mo'” in which Owens is coupled with several younger blues artists and for his bandleader work on his own label, Sawdust Alley Records for “Trudy Lynn with the Calvin Owens Orchestra.” He continued to release records as leader of a dynamic Blues Orchestra.

Read more

Tags

Photos

Albums by Calvin Owens

Album The Calvin Owens Show by Calvin Owens

The Calvin Owens Show

Sawdust Alley Records
2006

buy
 

True Blue

Not On Label (Calvin Weston Self-released)
2005

buy
 

Stop Lying In My Face...

Not On Label (Calvin Weston Self-released)
2005

buy
 

Another Concept

Not On Label (Calvin Weston Self-released)
2004

buy
 

The House Is Burning

Not On Label (Calvin Weston Self-released)
2002

buy
 

Keeping Bigband Blues...

Not On Label (Calvin Weston Self-released)
2000

buy

Watch

Similar Jazz Musicians

Robben Ford Robben Ford
guitar
Alberta Hunter Alberta Hunter
vocalist
T-Bone Walker T-Bone Walker
guitar, electric
Big Joe Turner Big Joe Turner
vocalist
Albert Collins Albert Collins
guitar, electric
Tab Benoit Tab Benoit
guitar, electric
Keb' Mo' Keb' Mo'
guitar

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.