Shirley, Jimmy (1913-1989)

Swing guitarist and one of the early electric guitarists; born in Union, SC and raised in Cleveland where he was taught guitar by his father; he joined J. Frank Terry and Hal Draper in Cincinnati (1934-36), formed his own quartet and trio, worked with Clarence Profit’s trio (1937-41) with whom he made his recording debut; toured with Ella Fitzgerald (1942-43), played with the Phil Moore Four, and had a long, off and on association with Herman Chittison (1944-54); he began doubling on electric bass with Buddy Tate (1967), and recorded with James P. Johnson, Sidney DeParis (1944), Johnny Guarnieri (1975), and Stephane Grappelli (1978); he recorded “Jimmy’s Blues” for Blue Note (1945) and headed one album for Black & Blue (1975); he was one of the first to use the vibrola attached to his guitar for a unique sound; Shirley passed away in 1989 in Harlem.

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Selected Albums

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