10 Lionel Hampton Videos

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Up until the late 1950s, vibraphonist, drummer and band leader Lionel Hampton was on par with Count Basie or even a bigger deal. Hampton began his recording career in 1924, and played and recorded with Louis Armstrong before joining Benny Goodman in 1936. Through the late 1930s and into the '40s, Hampton was a member of the Benny Goodman Quartet and, with pianist Teddy Wilson, bravely introduced integrated jazz performance at the highest level during the swing era.

In the 1940s, he helped pioneer rhythm & blues and jump blues. In the early and mid-1950s, he was a progenitor of rock 'n' roll. starring in Alan Freed's 1957 jukebox film Mr. Rock 'n' Roll. By 1958, as stereo 12-inch albums were becoming the rage, Basie took over with the cool swing of his collaborations with arranger- composer Neal Hefti.

To give you a sense of Hampton's longevity and influence on swing, R&B and rock 'n' roll, here are 10 clips of Hamp in action over the decades:

Here's Hampton with the Benny Goodman Quartet in the film Hollywood Hotel playing I Got A Heartful of Music in 1937...



Here's Hampton and his band in a 1951 short film playing Cobb's Idea, by tenor saxophonist Arnett Cobb, featuring Betty Carter...



Here's Hampton and his orchestra in a Universal short in 1949 playing a jump blues and more...



Here's Hampton with his orchestra in 1953 playing in a 33-minute Western Electric short film...



Here's Hampton and his band in 1955 playing a jam session with Milt Buckner on piano...



Here's singer Marti Barris joined by Johnny Otis and Lionel Hampton on The Johnny Otis Show on KTTV-Los Angeles in 1956 or '57...



Here's Otis and Hampton on the same show playing It's You...



Here's Hampton in Mr. Rock 'n' Roll, again chipping away at segregation in 1957...



And here's Hampton and his band with baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams in 1964 playing Sophisticated Lady...



Here's Hampton and his big band on Chicago television in 1965 playing Neal Hefti's Cute...



JazzWax note: Lionel Hampton died in 2002.

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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