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Leo Watson

An eccentric singer whose improvisations were frequently futuristic, Leo Watson was way before his period; imagine if Betty Carter acquired suddenly appeared within the 1930s! Watson began as a single vocalist along with a journeyman drummer. After shifting to NY in 1929, he performed within a novelty action that toured using the Whitman Sisters’ present. The backup group (including Wilbur and Douglas Daniels) shortly broke away to be the Spirits of Tempo, and Teddy Bunn became a member of as guitarist. Watson was an extremely original scat vocalist, as he demonstrated within the Spirits’ recordings of that time period (in 1933) and on his visitor appearances using the Washboard Tempo Kings. Following the breakup from the Spirits of Tempo (which featured many of its performing users including Watson playing tiples, a kind of ukulele), Watson in 1937 done 52nd Street in the Onyx with John Kirby. He previously brief stints, and produced a few interesting recordings, using the orchestras of Artie Shaw and Gene Krupa in 1938. The next year he caused Jimmy Mundy’s big music group for a while and Watson was section of all the Spirits of Tempo reunion rings. He was in and out of music for another few years, not necessarily finding a market for himself. Watson was located in LA from 1943 on, occasionally teaming up with Slim Gaillard, but mainly having low-profile careers before his loss of life from pneumonia at age 52. He is able to be observed briefly within the film Stormy Weather conditions and, furthermore to sideman looks with Shaw, Krupa, Leonard Feather, as well as the Spirits, Watson led two four-song documenting classes (1939 and 1946), one apiece for Decca and Personal; the latter offers some classic shows.

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