August 19, 1906|
San Marcos, Texas, U.S.
|Died||March 6, 1987
New York City
|Musician, composer, arranger|
|Walter Page, Bennie Moten, Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie|
Eddie Durham (19 August 1906 - 6 March 1987) was an American musician who pioneered the use of the electric guitar in jazz. He was a guitarist, trombonist, composer, and arranger for the orchestras of Bennie Moten, Jimmie Lunceford, and Count Basie. With Edgar Battle he composed "Topsy", which was recorded by Count Basie and became a hit for Benny Goodman. In 1938 Durham co-wrote "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire", with Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus and Eddie Seiler. During the 1940s, Durham created Eddie Durham's All-Star Girl Orchestra, an African-American all female swing band that toured the United States and Canada.
From 1929, Durham started experimenting to enhance the sound of his guitar using resonators and megaphones. In 1935 he was the first to record an electrically amplified guitar with Jimmie Lunceford in 'Hittin' The Bottle' that was recorded in New York for the Decca label.