Naylor, Oliver

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Naylor, Oliver

Naylor, Oliver, early jazz bandleader, pianist; b. Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 7, 1900; d. Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 21, 1990. Naylor made some fine records for Gen-nett in 1924–25. He formed his first band, Oliver Naylor’s Seven Aces, in his native city when he was 20. It included several New Orleans natives such as Jules Bauduc, brother of drummer Ray. At the beginning of 1924 they played the Roseland Ballroom in N.Y., followed by gigs in Altoon, Pa., and elsewhere. In January 1925 they performed at Knickerbocker Grill in N.Y. as well as Roseland; that spring he expanded the group and they toured as Oliver Naylor’s Orch. In 1926 they played Philadelphia, followed by Birmingham, and an end of the year gig at a Pittsburgh resort, where Jack Lacey joined. Bob Zurke joined Naylor in 1927. The band continued to tour, primarily in the Northeast with an occasional stay in N.C., until 1939, when Naylor returned to Birmingham. He managed a theater for seven years, then was an executive at WBRC-TV from 1948 to 1960, when he retired.


O.N.’ seven aces (1924).

—Lewis Porter