July 27th in African American History – Harry “Sweets” Edison

Harry “Sweets” EdisonJuly 27, 1999 Harry “Sweets” Edison, jazz trumpeter, composer and arranger, died.

Edison was born October 10, 1915 in Columbus, Ohio. At the age of 12, he began playing the trumpet with local bands. In 1937, he moved to New York City and joined the Count Basie Orchestra where he came to prominence as a soloist.

Edison stayed with Basie for 13 years before moving to the West Coast and becoming a studio musician. There, he recorded with such artists as Billie Holliday, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald. He also recorded a number of albums as leader, including “Sweets” (1956), “Jawbreakers” (1962), and “Edison’s Lights” (1976). In 1992, Edison was designated a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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