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Erskine Hawkins

Erskine Hawkins (July 26, 1914 – November 11, 1993) was an American trumpeter and big band leader from Birmingham, Alabama, dubbed "The 20th Century Gabriel". He is most remembered for composing the jazz standard "Tuxedo Junction" (1939) with saxophonist and arranger Bill Johnson. The song became a popular hit during World War II, rising to No. 7 nationally (version by the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra) and to No. 1 nationally (version by the Glenn Miller Orchestra). Vocalists who were featured with Erskine's orchestra include Ida James, Delores Brown, and Della Reese.

During 1936 through 1938, he recorded for Vocalion Records as "Erskine Hawkins and his 'Bama State Collegians". In 1938, he signed with RCA Victor Records and began recording on their Bluebird label as, simply, "Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra".

In the late 1930s Hawkins and his Orchestra were one of the house bands at the Savoy Ballroom. They alternated with the Chick Webb band, and often used Tuxedo Junction as their sign-off song before the next band would take the stage, so that the dancing would continue uninterrupted. Hawkins also engaged in "battles of the bands" with such bandleaders as Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, and Lionel Hampton.

In the mid 1940s, he was transferred to the main RCA Victor label, recording many of his greatest hits for both labels during this decade. He remained with them until 1950 when he switched over to Coral Records. He continued to record for many years.

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Listen to Erskine Hawkins on Swing City Radio.  We are a Big Band Radio Station playing a wide selection of Big Band and Swing music.

Swing City Radio plays Erskine Hawkins - Listen to our station and hear the songs:
Tippin' In
Tuxedo Junction
Uncle Bud
Shipyard Ramble
Uproar Shout
Fifteen Years
Whispering Grass
Raid The Joint
Cherry
Lucky Seven
Dear Old Southland
Dolemite

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