Red Nichols

Red Nichols

Red Nichols (May 8, 1905 – June 28, 1965) was an American jazz cornettist, composer, and jazz bandleader.

Over his long career, Nichols recorded in a wide variety of musical styles, he was often described as an expert cornet player, a solid improviser, and apparently a workaholic, since he is rumored to have appeared on over 4,000 recordings during the 1920s alone.

Nichols could read music and easily gained session and studio work. In 1926, Miff Mole and he began a prodigious stint of recording with a variety of bands, most of them known as Red Nichols and His Five Pennies. Few of these groups were quintets; the name was simply a pun on "nickel" since "five pennies" are in a nickel.

Nichols recorded over 100 sides for the Brunswick label under that band name. He also recorded under The Arkansas Travelers, The California Red Heads, The Louisiana Rhythm Kings, The Charleston Chasers, Red and Miff's Stompers, and Miff Mole and His Little Molers. During some weeks in this period, Nichols and his bands were recording 10 to 12 records.

His recordings of the late 1920s are regarded as the most progressive jazz of the period in both concept and execution, with wide-ranging harmonies and a balanced ensemble. However, they were small-band Dixieland groups, emphasizing collective improvisation and playing. They were different from Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives of that period.

Nichols' band started out with Mole on trombone and Jimmy Dorsey on alto sax and clarinet. Other musicians who played for a time in his bands in the following decade were Benny Goodman (clarinet), Glenn Miller (trombone), Jack Teagarden (trombone), Pee Wee Russell (clarinet), Joe Venuti (violin), Eddie Lang (banjo and guitar), and Gene Krupa (drums). The Five Pennies' version of "Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider" was a surprise hit record. It sold over a million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

Read more on Wikipedia

Listen to Red Nichols 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 Red Nichols - Listen to our station and hear the songs:
Nobody Knows
I Never Knew
Keep a Song In Your Soul
Alice Blue Gown
Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider
I Got Rhythm
Embraceable You
China Boy
Blue Again

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