George Guesnon

Creole George Guesnon (May 25, 1907, New Orleans, Louisiana – May 6, 1968, New Orleans) was an American jazz banjoist, guitarist, and singer.

When he was twelve years old, Guesnon bought a ukulele under the influence of an uncle who played guitar. After completing school, he worked for his father, who was a plasterer. At twenty, he began substituting for banjoist Earl Stockmeyer at a cabaret. He received banjo lessons from John Marrero and then took his spot in the Papa Celestin band. Soon after, he took Danny Barker's place in the Willie Pajeaud band. He worked in Sam Morgan's band from 1930–35, then played briefly in Monroe, Louisiana with Lou Johnson's Californians.

In 1936 he moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where he played and recorded in a band led by Little Brother Montgomery. He recorded for the first time in 1936 on his song "Goodbye, Good Luck to You" with Montgomery. He did two tours with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, then returned to New Orleans in 1938. But he found little work there and moved to New York City. In 1940 he recorded four songs in New York for Decca in addition to playing with Trixie Smith and Jelly Roll Morton. He worked for Pullman trains, then enlisted in the Merchant Marines when World War II started. He played locally in Louisiana in the 1950s, with the Mighty Four at the Melody Inn from 1953 to 1955, and toured with George Lewis in 1955. On several occasions he recorded with Kid Thomas Valentine and performed at Preservation Hall in his native New Orleans.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 25th, 1907, Died May 6th, 1968

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1936 - 1940

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-02659 10-in. 10/16/1936 Goodbye, good luck to you George Guesnon Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Decca 67497 10-in. 4/4/1940 Mississippi town (Jackson blues) George Guesnon vocalist  
Decca 67498 10-in. 4/4/1940 Iberville and Franklin George Guesnon vocalist  
Decca 67499 10-in. 4/4/1940 Black woman blues George Guesnon vocalist  
Decca 67500 10-in. 4/4/1940 Goodbye, good luck to you George Guesnon vocalist  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Guesnon, George," accessed July 29, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104017.

Guesnon, George. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104017.

"Guesnon, George." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 29 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104017

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