b. c. 1898, Texas, USA. Holder’s early background is extremely sketchy, but by the early 20s he was well-established as lead trumpet and principal soloist with Alphonso Trent’s important territory band. In the middle of the decade he formed his own band, the Dark Clouds Of Joy, which was based in Dallas, Texas. In 1929, while undergoing financial and domestic strain, Holder resigned and the band was taken over by one of his leading sidemen, Andy Kirk. Although Kirk retained most of the original name, calling the band the Clouds Of Joy, Holder was undeterred and formed a new band with the same name as before. He continued to play into the mid-30s, employing a number of outstanding musicians who used his and other territory bands as training grounds before gaining major success elsewhere. Among the artists who played with Holder at various times were Don Byas, Budd Johnson, Herschel Evans, Earl Bostic, Carl ‘Tatti’ Smith and Buddy Tate. After folding his band in the late 30s Holder drifted in and out of music, never making the breakthrough into national fame. Reputedly a fine player, Holder was still working intermittently into the 60s. It must be assumed that he is now dead, although like his music, his demise has gone unrecorded.
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