Augustus McClung

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The name of Augustus McClung may just be too elegant to achieve common currency among jazz fans. The trumpeter's heyday has come and gone as well, several generations of big bands having since come hither,…
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The name of Augustus McClung may just be too elegant to achieve common currency among jazz fans. The trumpeter's heyday has come and gone as well, several generations of big bands having since come hither, instruments blaring of stylistic innovation but perhaps accomplishing not much more than drowning the past out. McClung worked steadily in many classic jazz groups until his health forced him out of the performing picture and public eye circa 1942. His history before that stretches back to the Roaring Twenties and the music scene in Springfield, OH, out of which emerged ensembles such as McKinney's Cotton Pickers and the inter-related groups under the direction of brothers Cecil and Lloyd Scott

In the late '20s and '30s the trumpeter gigged with Clarence Paige, Claude Hopkins, Horace Henderson, Charlie Johnson, Kaiser Marshall, Noble Sissle, Tiny Bradshaw, and others. His final job of distinction was with Buddy Johnson in both 1940 and 1941. In terms of recording he does not seem to have been all that active, although both Scott brother's bands did cut sides for Victor at the outset. A reissue of early material by trombonist Dicky Wells, also a member of Scott outfits, is one of the best opportunities to hear the trumpeter in action.