Jimmie Bell

Boogie-woogie pianist, trumpeter and singer Jimmie Bell was born on 29 August 1910 and died on 31 December 1987. On some labels he is credited incorrectly as Jimmy Bell. The Aristocrat recordings were made in late 1947 but not released until 1949. They were subsequently re-released on the Chess label. “Jimmy” Bell’s trio were Bell, Leo Blevins and Andrew Harris. Jimmie Bell continued to play piano professionally for many years.

No photos or videos of Mr Bell currently available.


Duke Groner

Edward “Duke” Groner was born in Oklahoma on March 24, 1908 and died on November 7, 1992. He was a jazz singer and pianist. A number of recordings were made for Aristocrat in 1947. The Duke Groner Trio were Groner, Horace Palm and Emmett Spicer. He left Chess to record for Vee-Jay and other labels.

No photo or video located.

“Baby Face” Leroy Foster


Baby Face Leroy Foster (left) with fan | Wirz | tc258

“Baby Face” Leroy Foster, pictured left, is one of the early signings to Aristocrat and famed for being a member of Muddy Waters’ band and a pioneer of the Chicago style of blues music, was born on February 1, 1923 and died on May 26, 1958 of a heart attack, aged 35. Foster is also associated with Sunnyland Slim, Little Walter and John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson. In 2012 the Killer Blues Headstone Project placed a headstone on Foster’s unmarked grave.

Prince Cooper Trio


Prince Cooper Trio | Chicago Defender, December 11, 1954 | tc259

The Prince Cooper trio were a piano based jazz trio comprising of Prince Cooper (deceased January 4, 1998), guitarist Hurley Ramey (biographical details not available) and double bassist Charles Valdez “Truck” Parham (born January 25, 1911, deceased June 5, 2002). Cooper sang the vocals.

Gatemouth Moore


Gatemouth Moore | Discogs | tc261

Arnold Dwight “Gatemouth” Moore was born on November 8, 1913 and died on May 19, 2004. He sang blues and gospel music, and also wrote songs, with his songs being recorded by artists including B B King and Rufus Thomas, whom he met when he had a broadcasting job at radio WDIA, Memphis. He acquired the “Gatemouth” nickname because he had a very loud speaking and singing voice. He started singing blues in 1945. He was ordained in 1949. He was a survivor of the 1940 Natchez Rhythm Club Fire and the first blues singer to perform at Carnegie Hall. His last recording was made in 1977.

Gatemouth Moore’s obituary – Google Archives

Duke Jenkins


Believed to be Duke Jenkins, seated, 1956 | Ohio TV Memories | tc262

Aristocrat recording artist Herman “Duke” Jenkins was born in 1918 and died in 1999, aged 91. His father wanted him to become a doctor, but Herman Jenkins preferred music, and especially jazz, and became one of the top jazz band leaders in the Chicago area for many years. He was nicknamed “Duke” for a perceived facial resemblance to Duke Ellington. Mr Jenkins retired from playing music at the age of 89.

Obituary in Cleveland.com

Jo Jo Adams


Jo Jo Adams | Collection of Dr. Daryl Michael Scott | tc263

Jo Jo Adams (far right in the picture) was a rockabilly singer who was born in 1918 and died on 27 February, 1988. He was also a comedian/singer/dancer/emcee and leader of a successful revue. The picture also shows left to right Little Miss Cornshucks, Melvin Scott and Tiny Bradshaw.

Rockabilly.nl notes:

In July 1947, “Doctor Jo Jo” as he was sometimes billed, recorded a four track session for Aristocrat Records with Tom Archia’s All Stars, and in early 1948 he was recalled by Archia to sing the wonderful, two-part Cabbage Head – an updating of the ancient British ballad “Our Gudeman”(aka Seven Nights Drunk).

Six recordings made by Adams for Aristocrat were issued under the name of bandleader Tom Archia, with vocal by Jo Jo Adams or Dr Jo Jo. Adams also recorded for a number of other labels including Hytone and Parrot.