Jimmie Lunceford led what many consider to be the best swing orchestra of the 1930s. Flashy and talented, Lunceford's band was without a doubt the most entertaining of its day. No one who saw it in performance could ignore the group's infectious attitude and enthusiastic presence. Many of the era's top bandleaders openly borrowed from Lunceford's showmanship.
Lunceford spent his formative years in Denver, Colorado, where he studied music under Paul Whiteman's father and in 1922 played saxophone with George Morrison's orchestra at the Empress Theatre. In 1926 he earned a bachelor's degree from Fisk University in Nashville. Lunceford also attended the City College in New York. During school breaks he performed with such artists as Wilbur Sweatman, Elmer Snowden, John C. Smith, and Deacon Jones.
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