Hardee, John, hard-driving Tex. tenor saxophonist; b. Corsicana, Tex., Dec. 20, 1918; d. Dallas, Tex., May 18, 1984. Both parents were musical. An uncle, Ashford Hardee, was a professional trombonist. Hardee played piano at local dances, then saxophone with the Blue Moon Syncopators, Florenz O’Harris and Rick Calhoun. He played in the Bishop Coll. Band, then spent six months in Don Albert’s Band (1937–38). He returned to coll. until 1941. During Army service he performed in the Signal Corps Band and was stationed near N.Y. After leaving the Army he worked with Tiny Grimes then led his own band. He is best-known for his late 1940s R&B-styled recordings with Grimes (“Tiny’s Boogie Woogie”) and his own small groups (“Hardee’s Partee,” “River Edge Rock”). He played club dates in N.Y. before moving to Dallas in 1949 to become a school band director, while still playing local club dates. However, he quit playing from the early 1960s until late 1974. He made a triumphant appearance at the Nice Jazz Festival in 1974. However, he was mostly inactive in the remaining decade of his life.
—John Chilton Who’s Who of Jazz/Lewis Porter