Thursday, January 7, 2010


This week I was chatting with a friend who was telling me about a great 40's swing/jump guitar player named Tiny Grimes who made his name playing the tenor guitar. I have been drawn more and more to the tenor guitar over the past year or two due to having my baritone uke as my 'go-to' instrument in most cases for both composing and just messing around. Anyway, Tiny's description reminded me of the 30's-40's band Cats and the Fiddle (video clip of 'Killin' Jive' posted in an earlier post). My friend had not heard of them but we each mentioned checking out each other's recommendations. So, of course, as things go.... Tiny was actually IN Cats and the Fiddle.... later than the when the clip was shot by a few years... but still. It was a fun coincidence.

More on Lloyd "Tiny" Grimes:
He played the tenor guitar (a four string version of a guitar) and played with countless artists on as many recordings by the likes of Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, and even Billie Holiday. One of his own bands, Tiny Grimes and the Rockin' Highlanders included a young Screaming Jay Hawkins years before he made a name for himself.

Though he was known as being a master of swing, jump, and jazz in the style of Charlie Christian, Tiny is also one of the many artists thought to have written and performed the very first rock and roll song, his 1946 "Tiny's Boogie". Other artists thought to have also written the very first rock and roll song are Big Joe Turner, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Ike Turner, Fats Domino.... and the list goes on and on.

More on Tiny HERE.

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