Count Basie

Jazz. A beautiful sound. I happily played this wonderful form of music for a large part of my life. In Red Bank, NJ on August 21, 1904 a lovely baby named William Basie was born. I was born to two loving parents named Harvie and Lillian Basie. A lot of credit must be given to these two wonderful people. Musicians like them are amazing because from the beginning they taught me the magic of music. My mother was my first music teacher. She taught me how to play some of the piano I know. In school band, I also learned how to play the drum.

The "Walter Page's Blue Devils" was my first band. Eventually the Blue Devils broke up, just like any band will eventually. It was sad but I knew the breakup wasn't the end. So it was at that time when I decided to start my own band, the "The Barons of Rhythm". This band was known as the best band in all NY at it's time. But with such a big band, I knew the name William Baie could not last, so I became Coun Basie. My first choice was Duke, but Duke Ellington already had that. This is how I became Count Basis. With a new nickname and this kick off to my career, I decided to start something even bigger. I started my most famous and well known band. Except it couldn't be called a band because it was too big. It wasn't at all a band, it was an orchestra, "The Basie Orchestra". This huge band started up in 1936 We started in the Kansas City's Reno Club. A song by my band is One O'clock Jump which you can listen to and watch below. "The Basie Orchestra" was honored with 17 Grammy Awards for our music. Wow! I know. We have 19 performers, 17 sidemen, 1 vocalist, and 1 bandleader. As I said before, the "Count Basie Orchestra" was a orchestra, not a band!

It wasn't until 1936 though that I got the name "Count" Basie. This was also the year that "The Count Basie Orchestra" really became popular in Manhattan. We began writing many songs and became very famous. It was very exciting! I can play the organ and the drum; though I am most well known for my work on the piano. In One O'clock jump I am playing the piano. The life I lived was very amazing, I hope that people remember me. I hear that "The Count Basie Orchestra" still plays and that there is a Count Basie theater. As for me, well, I died on April 26, 1984 in Hollywood, California. I am glad that even though my body is dead, I still live on in many other ways.

The people of New Jersey are proud that was born there due to by incredible music. They are also proud of my amazing work on the piano and drums. I hope that many people look up to me as a role model and I hope they achieve all their dreams.

Listen to One O'clock Jump by my orchestra

  1. "About Us." Count Basie Orchestra. n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2010.
  2. "New Jersey Hall of Fame." New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2010. n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2010
  3. mcfunkyfreshhh. "Count Basie Orchestra-One O' Clock Jump." Digital File. You Tube. Count Basie Orchestra-One O' Clock Jump. August 27, 2008. Web. 22 Dec, 2010.

A.A. Period 5