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Sonny Greer

Biography

He was never the best timekeeper, but Sonny Greer was ideal for Duke Ellington’s Orchestra during 1924-1951, adding color and course to the tempo section. He fulfilled Ellington in 1919 when he was an associate from the Howard Theatre’s orchestra in Washington, D.C. Greer stopped at NY for the very first time with Elmer Snowden and was a genuine person in Ellington’s Washingtonians, that was a five-piece group at its begin. Greer’s playing grew using the music group, and his huge array of noises (utilizing a drum established that included a gong, chimes, timpani, and vibes) put into the Ellington band’s “jungle audio.” He was using the orchestra until 1951 when, following a few quarrels with Ellington over his consuming and raising unreliability, Greer still left to become listed on Johnny Hodges’ brand-new group. He afterwards worked with Crimson Allen, Tyree Glenn, and J.C. Higginbottham; in 1967 led his very own music group; and used Brooks Kerr’s trio in the 1970s.

Quick Facts


Full Name Sonny Greer
Died March 23, 1982, New York City, New York, United States
Profession Singer, Drummer
Nationality American
Music Songs Sunny Jungle, Saturday Night Function, Sanuf, Jumpin' Punkins, Kersey's Boogie, Skiffle Jam, The Mooche, Jitterbug's Holiday, Kandy Lamb, Moaning Day, Bug In A Rug, Sloppy Joe, Mood Indigo, Liberian Suite, Rabbit's Blues, Hot Feet, Jumpin’ Pumpkins
Albums Jazz Mad Vol. 2: Hot Dance, Jazz and Instrumental Blues 1926-1930


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#Fact
1 Had a reputation as a "smooth-talking, sharp-dressing pool hustler".
2 Long-standing member of Duke Ellington's Orchestra from the early 1920's. Asked to leave the band in 1951 because of his inability to control his alcohol addiction.
3 Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 337-339. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
4 Jazz drummer.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Adventures in Jazz 1949 TV Series
Check and Double Check 1930 Member, Cotton Club Orchestra (uncredited)

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Paris Blues 1961 musician - uncredited
Check and Double Check 1930 musician: drums - uncredited

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Jazz Party 1958 TV Series performer - 1 episode

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Jazz Party 1958 TV Series Himself - Drummer
Jam Session 1942 Short Himself - Drums

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
A Great Day in Harlem 1994 Documentary Himself (uncredited)

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