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McCord, Castor

McCord, Castor

McCord, Castor , jazz tenor saxophonist, clarinetist; b. Birmingham, Ala., May 17, 1907; d. N.Y, Feb. 14, 1963. Twin brother of saxophonist Theodore Jobetus (Ted) McCord; both played in Edgar Hayes’ Blue Grass Buddies (1924). While studying at Wilberforce Univ., Xenia, Ohio, he became a member of student band led by Horace Henderson. He took up professional music with that band, played residency in Atlantic City, then went to N.Y. From 1929–30, he played with Mills Blue Rhythm Band and subsequently played dates with Louis Armstrong and Eubie Blake Band until, in 1932, joining Charlie Matson Orch. in N.Y He returned to the Mills band later that year, remaining with them until journeying to Europe in a band accompanying the revue, Blackbirds of 1934 in August of that year. He settled in Paris, playing in a band accompanying Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins, then spent a year and a half in the Leon Abbey Band including two trips to India in 1936. He led his own trio in Amsterdam in spring 1937; later that year played with Fletcher Allen’s Band in Paris. After playing with Walter Rains’ Band in Rotterdam (early in 1938), Castor returned to the U.S. and rejoined Leon Abbey in N.Y Early in 1939, he joined the Benny Carter Big Band at Savoy, and played with Eddie Mallory during the following year. From 1941–42, he was a member of Claude Hopkins’ Band. He left professional music in the 1940s and became a hairdresser, continuing in that employment until shortly before his death.

—John Chilton Who’s Who of Jazz /Lewis Porter

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