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I Lost My Gal From Memphis

Bubber Miley & His
Mileage Makers


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James Wesley "Bubber" Miley
(April 3rd 1903 - May 20th 1932)


Recorded in New York City on May 16th 1930 with Frank Marvin vocals, Bubber Miley and Ward Pinkett trumpets, Wilber de Paris trombone, Buster Bailey and Hilton Jefferson clarinet & alto sax, Happy Caldwell tenor sax, Earl Frazier piano, Bernard Addison guitar & banjo, Bill Benford tuba, and Tommy Benford drums.

*"I Lost My Gal From Memphis" was composed by Peter De Rose, with lyrics by Charlie Tobias.

Born in Aiken, South Carolina in 1903 James Wesley Miley moved with his family to New York City when he was only six years old.

There as a youth he sang in the streets for tip money and would begin learning to play the trombone and cornet around age fourteen.

During his late teens he signed up to serve in the Navy for eighteen months and upon his discharge in 1920 joined a jazz group called the "Carolina Five".

After performing at small clubs in and around the New York area Bubber Miley embarked on a short Southern tour as trumpeter in a vaudeville show called "The Sunny South".

Miley joined "Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds" as a replacement for Johnny Dunn and while performing in Chicago became inspired by the mute trumpet work of Joe "King" Oliver which he would soon adopt.

His talent and original mute trumpet style came to the attention of prominent New York City bandleader Duke Ellington who hired him in 1923.

In 1929 after six years of relentless performance with the "Ellington Orchestra", Bubber Miley left the band and immediately went on a month long Parisian tour with Noble Sissle.

When he returned to the United States, Miley worked and recorded with various groups including those led by Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Hoagy Carmichael, Zutty Singleton, and Leo Reisman.

Already suffering from poor health hastened by alcoholism, Bubber Miley died of tuberculosis on May 20th 1932 on Welfare Island, (now Roosevelt Island) in New York City.

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