Willie Bryant

Picture of Willie Bryant

Bandleader and entertainer, Willie Bryant, was known as "The Mayor of Harlem" and was the long time emcee at the Apollo Theater. Bryant got his start in vaudeville and also led a very talented band between 1934 and 1938 that I wish they could have made many more recordings.

At different times, Bryant's orchestra featured names like Teddy Wilson, Cozy Cole, Benny Carter, Eddie Durham and Taft Jordan.

Once his orchestra had called it quits, Bryant moved into acting and disc jockeying. He went on to lead another big band between 1946 and 1948 but it made little impact.  In 1949, he hosted a show called Uptown Jubilee on early television and eventually became the famed Apollo Theater emcee throughout the 1950's.

Listen to: "Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Willie Bryant and His Orchestra from 1936

You can hear the music of Willie Bryant right here on Swing City Radio.

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