“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Marcos in Hays County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Eddie Durham

Eddie Durham Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry D. Moore, May 11, 2020
1. Eddie Durham Marker
Inscription.  The Texas influence on jazz history, especially through the careers of individual artists, is well documented. The efforts and influences of African American jazz musician Eddie Durham can be seen in many aspects of jazz music and musicians today. Eddie Durham was born in San Marcos on August 19, 1906 to Joseph Durham, Sr., a well-known fiddle player, and Luella Rabb (Mohawk) Durham. From an early age, Eddie’s talents were apparent as he performed with his family in the Durham Brothers Band. At the age of eighteen, Eddie began traveling and playing in regional bands. His experiences with the “101 Ranch Brass Band”, Edgar Battle’s “Dixie Ramblers” and Gene Coy’s “Happy Black Aces” all led to his being picked up by “The Blue Devils” out of Oklahoma.

In 1929, Eddie recorded with recognized Kansas City band leader and pianist Bennie Moten, playing trombone and guitar. Around this time, he recorded a guitar solo on New Vine Street Blues that alternated single-string style, a new method popularized by Durham. Eddie became central to the Kansas City style of swing that was developing
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in the 1930s. Working with Moten, Durham helped create the iconic big band style that is known today. He later joined Jimmie Lunceford’s band, “Lunceford Express,” and recorded the first amplified guitar in 1935 while playing Hittin’ the Bottle. The impact of this innovation can be seen through many jazz musicians that followed Durham. Eddie’s talent extended beyond playing as he was a successful music arranger for Lunceford, Kansas City Five and Count Basie. One of his best-known arrangements is In the Mood for Glen Miller’s Big Band. Eddie Durham’s musical talents created a lasting impact on jazz through his music and influence on many great jazz musicians.
Erected 2013 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17805.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, Music. A significant historical date for this entry is August 19, 1906.
Location. 29° 52.789′ N, 97° 56.56′ W. Marker is in San Marcos, Texas, in Hays County. Marker is on Martin Luther King Drive near South Fredericksburg Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 205 Martin Luther King Dr, San Marcos TX 78666, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ulysses Cephas (a few steps from this marker); The Calaboose (a few steps
Eddie Durham Marker Area image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry D. Moore, May 11, 2020
2. Eddie Durham Marker Area
from this marker); Wesley Chapel A. M. E. Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Simon Ford Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); 131 North Guadalupe (approx. 0.2 miles away); Green and Faris Buildings (approx. ¼ mile away); The Courthouses of Hays County (approx. ¼ mile away); Ragsdale-Jackman-Yarbrough House (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Marcos.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 12, 2020, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. This page has been viewed 219 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 12, 2020, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas.

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Dec. 5, 2023