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Creath, Charlie (actually, Charles Cyril)

Creath, Charlie (actually, Charles Cyril) , trumpeter, leader, saxophonist, accordion player; b. Ironton, Mo., Dec. 30, 1890; d. Chicago, III, Oct. 23, 1951. He was the brother of pianist Marge (who was married to Zutty Singleton); another sister, Pauline, also played piano. Started on alto saxophone, then switched to trumpet in his early teens. At 16 Creath worked in Pop Adams’s Circus Band, then toured with P. G. Lowry’s troupe. Later he toured with Drake and Walker’s Musical Comedy Show and the Hagen Beck-Wallace Circus Band. He did theatre work, then led his own band in Seattle, returning to St. Louis c. 1918. He took over the band led by pianist Marcella Kyle c. 1921 and led that band at Alamac Hall. Several bands worked under Creath’s name in and around St. Louis during the early 1920s. Creath himself played many residencies including long stay at Jazzland. He joined Fate Marable on S.S. Capitol in late 1926, but was inactive through illness from 1928–30, from that date he doubled sax and accordion. Creath then worked with Harvey Lankford’s Synco High-Hatters (1933), then co-led a band with Fate Marable during the mid-1930s. He subsequently moved to Chicago, ran his own night club for awhile, then worked as an inspector in an aircraft factory (1944). Creath was ill for several years before dying in 1951.

—John Chilton/Lewis Porter

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Creath, Charlie (actually, Charles Cyril)

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