Dewey Jackson

Legendary trumpeter Dewey Jackson was born just a few weeks before Louis Armstrong in June of 1900, but unlike Satchmo, Jackson rarely left his native St. Louis. Interestingly, for being one of St. Louis' marquee jazz names of the 20s and establishing a legacy that lasted for decades, Jackson was rarely recorded.

Jackson played a year with ragtimer George Reynold's Keystone Band before joining Charlie Creath and alternated between the Creath,and Fate Marable bands on the famed riverboats. He went on to lead his own groups, most notably the Peacock Orchestra, before briefly joining the first Cotton Club band in New York.

Jackson recorded for Vocallion in 1926, with Creath for Okeh in '27 and with bassist Singleton Palmer. He didn’t stay in New York but returned to St Louis, which he found more exciting.

By the 40s, Jackson had succumbed to the day-job bit but still gigged occasionally. In 1952, a young St. Louis University student (and future Delmark Records owner) named Bob Koester taped a live performance with borrowed equipment, aiming the mic at whoever was soloing. This is the now famous “Live at the Barrel 1952,” session. These hot tracks should go a long way in supporting Jackson's deserved place in St. Louis jazz history.

He occasionally gigged through the '50s and '60s and passed away in March of 1966.

Source: James Nadal

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