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Joe Liggins

The top selling R&B record of the year 1945 was pianist Joe Liggins’ “The Honeydripper,” which followed the trend started by Louis Jordan of smaller jump bands recording for the growing radio market. This period also saw the expanding importance of Los Angeles as an influential music city.

Joe Liggins was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma on July 9, 1916. After attempting to learn various brass instruments, Joe Liggins settled down to study musical composition and piano arrangement. After moving to California in 1939, he began writing for and playing with local bands, graduating in the 40s to the respected units of Cee Pee Johnson and Sammy Franklin; he was working with the latter when, in 1945, he left to form his own group, the Honeydrippers.

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