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Lionel Hampton Dies

Lionel Hampton, the vibist who, according to The New York Times, “was legendary for not wanting to leave the stage,” died Sat., Aug. 30 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan. He was 94.

Hampton started young in his hometown of Louisville, Ky. In grammar school he played drums in the Chicago Defender Newsboys’ Band and at 14 went on the road playing drums for Detroit Shannon. After moving west he played in Curtis Mosby’s Blue Blowers and made his recording debut with Paul Howard’s Quality Serenaders in 1929. While playing in Les Hite’s band, Hampton met Louis Armstrong and it was with Armstrong in 1930 that Hampton made his first recordings on the vibraphone backing up the trumpeter on “Memories of You” and “Shine.”

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