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Lytell, Jimmy (originally, Sarrapede, James)

Lytell, Jimmy (originally, Sarrapede, James)

Lytell, Jimmy (originally, Sarrapede, James), early jazz clarinetist, b. N.Y., Dec. 1, 1904; d. Kings Point, N.Y., Nov. 28, 1972. Professionally, he used the surname of film star Bert Lytell. Went to school in Brooklyn, during vacation of summer 1916 did first band work at a summer resort. With Original Indiana Five in autumn of 1921; joined the Original Dixieland Jazz Band early in 1922, then playing at The Balconades Ballroom, N.Y.; left in March 1922 to join Original Memphis Five. Toured and recorded with that quintet until 1925, then joined Capitol Theatre Orch. in N.Y., working under Eugene Ormandy. Freelanced in late 1920s, then spent many years (from 1930) on the staff of NBC, eventually becoming a musical director in the 1940s. Took part in the re-formed Original Memphis Five during summer of 1949. Throughout 1950s combined studio work with regular club and recording work with various bands. Led own band in Long Island in 1971. Died a year later.

—John Chilton,/Lewis Porter

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