Lionel Hampton, the reigning King of the Vibraphone, began his musical career as a drummer. In 1930, he met Louis Armstrong, who was so impressed hearing him at an L.A. nightclub that he was invited to a recording session. It was at that session that Armstrong spotted a set of vibes and asked him if he knew how to play them. Never one to refuse a challenge, Hamp picked up the mallets. The first tune they cut, "Memories of You," became a hit for Armstrong. John Hammond, the great jazz impresario, heard the record and began touting Hamp's vibes work to Benny Goodman. In August of 1936, Hammond brought Goodman to hear young Lionel Hampton.
The artist profiles on these pages were excerpted from the Carnegie Hall Tribute program. We present them here in an effort to recognize the artists that keep the music of Lady Ella alive through their repertoire.
Ann Hampton Callaway
Harry "Sweets" Edison
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