Personalities | Jay McShann | Forties | Jazz & Blues
(Piano, vocals, 1916–2006)
James Columbus McShann was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma and moved to Kansas City in 1936. He formed a big band in 1940 and recorded for Decca in 1941–43. The band featured vocalist Walter Brown and alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, and had a big hit with ‘Confessin’ The Blues’. McShann had a hit record on Vee Jay in 1955 with ‘Hands Off’ and continued to work in the Kansas City area. Prominently featured in the film Last of the Blue Devils (1980), McShann was a masterful pianist with equal parts jazz and blues in his style.
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