b. S.A. Harris, USA, d. USA. Starting out in radio in 1929, Harris was a popular announcer on shows that blended sketches, jokes and music. He became best known as host of KGKO’s Morning Grinder, in Dallas, Texas, in the late 40s and early 50s. In addition to appearing on air, at different times during the 50s Harris was also general manager and programme director of the radio station. Among Harris’ on-air contributions was the recounting of amusing monologues.
Also in Dallas, in 1951, Harris staged his Music Bar Show. This was a jazz show that he emceed and was restricted to black artists, thus setting Harris apart as the only white man on stage at a time and place where mixed race shows (and audiences) were far from customary. Among the featured and mainly local musicians introduced by Harris, who also presented his monologues, were trumpeter Bicycle Mitchell, tenor saxophonist Burn ’Em Up Anderson, pianist Boston Smith, guitarist Little Son Jackson, bass player Booker T. Averhart and drummer Willie Be-bop. Singers recruited for the shows included Edwina Mason, Betty Jane Wallace and James Waynes.