Page, Hot Lips (actually, Oran Thaddeus)

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Page, Hot Lips (actually, Oran Thaddeus)

Page, Hot Lips (actually, Oran Thaddeus), talented jazz trumpeter, mellophone player, singer; b. Dallas, Tex., Jan. 27,1908; d. N.Y., Nov. 5,1954. Page had his first music lessons from his mother, a former schoolteacher. After early efforts on clarinet and saxophone, he specialized on trumpet from the age of 12. He joined a kids’ band, but then left music, attended high school in Corsicana, Tex., but left to work in Seminoie oil fields in Tex. In 1923, he became a regular member of the band accompanying Ma Rainey; he made his first visit to N.Y. with Rainey, then toured with a T.O.B.A. circuit band, accompanied Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, and learned how to sing the blues. He joined the Troy Floyd Band in San Antonio, and worked in Tex. with Sugar Lou and Eddie’s Hotel Tyler Band. Page was heard with this band by bassist/bandleader Walter Page (no relation) and was invited to join Page’s Blue Devils early in 1928. He left the band in 1931 to join Bennie Moten’s Band, and worked mainly with Moten until 1935; after Moten’s death (April 1935), he led his own quintet in and around Kansas City. Page worked as a specialty act with Count Basie at the Reno Club, Kansas City (1936), was signed by manager Joe Glaser and moved to N.Y. He formed his own big band, which opened at Small’s Paradise, N.Y., in August 1937, and led that group and smaller ones through late 1939. Featured on tour with Bud Freeman’s Big Band and with Joe Marsala in 1940, then from November 1940 led own groups again until he joined Artie Shaw from Aug. 15, 1941 until January 1942. He primarily led big and small bands in N.Y., Boston, and Chicago, from then until early 1949. In May 1949 made his first trip to Europe for the Paris Jazz Festival, returned to U.S.A., and continued leading own small band in N.Y., Chicago, Minneapolis. He shared a highly successful recorded single with Pearl Bailey, “The Hucklebuck”/“Baby it’s Cold Outside” (1949). He worked mainly as a single from then on and from July until October 1951 and the summer of 1952, he toured Europe. He suffered a heart attack on Oct. 27,1954, and died in the Harlem Hospital nine days later.


After Hours in Harlem (1941); Dr. Jazz Series, Vol. 6 (1951); Americans in Sweden: H.L.P. (1951).

—John Chilton/Lewis Porter

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Page, Hot Lips (actually, Oran Thaddeus)

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