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Lucie, Lawrence (Larry)

Lucie, Lawrence (Larry)

Lucie, Lawrence (Larry), guitarist, singer; b. Emporia, Va., Dec. 18,1907. His father played violin; his brother played saxophone. His wife, guitarist and singer Susan King, recorded under the name of Nora Lee King. Lawrence worked regularly in a family hillbilly band. He began specializing on guitar in 1931, and played guitar and banjo while working with June Clark’s Band in 1931 and then with Benny Carter (1932–33). During 1934 he subbed for a week with Duke Ellington, then worked in pianist Dave Martin’s Band, before joining the Mills Blue Rhythm Band. He played with Fletcher Henderson from summer 1934 until late 1934, then worked again with the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (then led by Lucky Millinder). He returned to Henderson’s band (late 1936) and remained until 1938, when he rejoined Millinder. He joined Coleman Hawkins’s Big Band in January 1940, then worked with Louis Armstrong’s Big Band from May 1940 until 1944. He began leading his own small group at the 51 Club, N.Y., in 1944 and subsequently toured with his own band. He continued leading, then toured with a band led by drummer Louis Bellson in 1959. From late 1950 until January 1961 he worked in Cozy Cole’s Band, then left to concentrate on freelance work. He regularly led his own quartet during the 1960s, and gigged with various leaders. In the 1970s he did extensive studio work and teaching. In 1998 he was living in retirement in N.Y.—

—John Chilton/Lewis Porter

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