Speed Webb

Lawrence Arthur "Speed" Webb (18 July 1906 4 November 1994[2]) was an American jazz drummer and territory band leader especially active in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Speed Webb
Birth nameLawrence Arthur Webb
Born(1906-07-18)July 18, 1906
Peru, Indiana
DiedNovember 4, 1994(1994-11-04) (aged 88)
GenresJazz
Occupation(s)Musician and bandleader
InstrumentsDrums
Years active1923-1938[1]
Associated actsRoy Eldridge
Teddy Buckner
Vic Dickenson
Teddy Wilson
Art Tatum

Biography

Webb first began playing on violin and mellophone before switching to drums. By 1923 he was performing locally around Peru, Indiana, and in 1925 co-founded the Hoosier Melody Lads, a cooperative band. In 1926 the band, led by Webb, had a recording session with Gennett Records (of Richmond, Indiana), although no discs were issued. Later that year the band moved to California, where it had residencies at various clubs and from 1928-29 appeared in several films,[1] including Sins of the Fathers (1928),[3] Riley the Cop (1928) and His Captive Woman (1929).[4] After 1929 Webb led a number of bands (see below), mostly as conductor but also at times as drummer and singer, up until 1938 when he retired from full-time performance.[1]

Different lineups of Speed Webb and His Melody Lads,[5] Speed Webb and His Hollywood Blue Devils[6] and, between 1925 and 1938,[7] Speed Webb and His Hoosier Melody Lads, included Art Tatum,[8] Henderson Chambers,[9] Teddy Buckner,[10] Vic Dickenson, Teddy Wilson and his brother Gus Wilson, Roy Eldridge and his brother Joe Eldridge, Eli Robinson, Reunald Jones,[11] Melvin Bowles, William Warfield, Samuel Scott, Chick Wallace, Leonard Gray, Steve Dunn,[12] with Sy Oliver doing arrangements.[11]

Discography

There appear to be no extant recordings of Speedy Webb and his orchestras.[7] No discs were issued from the Gennet recording session of 1926, and the soundtracks of the movies he and his band appeared in seem to have been recorded by the various studio orchestras.[1]

References

  1. Lambert, Eddie (1994). "Webb, Speed". In Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (Single vol. 1st ed.). London: The Macmillan Press. p. 1274. ISBN 0-312-11357-9.
  2. "Necrologies" Archived 2013-05-07 at the Wayback MachineWashington University Libraries. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. "Full cast and crew for Sins of the Fathers (1928)". IMDb. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  4. Smith, Ernie (1994). "Films: I,2: Jazz scenes within feature films". In Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (Single vol. 1st ed.). London: The Macmillan Press. p. 376. ISBN 0-312-11357-9.
  5. Dje Dje, Jacqueline Cogdell and Meadows, Eddie S. (1998) California Soul: Music of African Americans in the West, p. 500. University of California Press at Google Books. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  6. Hochstat Greenberg, Janice Leslie (2010) Jazz Books in the 1990s: An Annotated Bibliography, p. 25. Scarecrow Press at Google Books. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  7. Schuller, Gunther (1989) The Swing Era : The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945, p. 781. Oxford University Press at Google Books. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  8. Feather, Leonard and Gitler, Ira (1999) The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, p. 637. Oxford University Press at Google Books. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  9. The Rough Guide to Jazz, p. 138. Rough Guides, 2004 at Google Books. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  10. The Rough Guide to Jazz, p. 111. Rough Guides, 2004 at Google Books. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  11. Wilson, Teddy and Ligthart, Arie (2001) Teddy Wilson Talks Jazz, p. 10. Continuum International Publishing Group at Google Books. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  12. Wilson, Teddy and Ligthart, Arie (2001) Teddy Wilson Talks Jazz, p. 84. Continuum International Publishing Group at Google Books. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
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