Gene Rodgers (March 5, 1910, New York City - October 23, 1987, New York City) was an American jazz pianist and arranger. He is best known for being the pianist on Coleman Hawkins' famous 1939 recording of "Body and Soul".
Rodgers worked professionally from the mid-1920s, and in the next few years made recordings with Clarence Williams and King Oliver in addition to playing with Chick Webb and Teddy Hill. He started his own variety show in the 1930s, doing tours of Australia and England; while in the latter in 1936 he recorded with Benny Carter.
Upon his return he played with Coleman Hawkins (1939–40), Zutty Singleton, and Erskine Hawkins (1943). He did work in Hollywood in the 1940s, including an appearance in the film Sensations of 1945 with Cab Calloway and Dorothy Donegan. After this he worked mainly in New York, leading a trio for many years. He played with the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band in 1981-82.
Rodgers appears, with opening title credits, in the 1947 film Shoot to Kill, though it doesn't look like the sound was miked during filming. Appearing about 9:40 into the film is "Ballad of the Bayou" and later is "Rajah's Blues." Both are Rodgers compositions.
Rodgers recorded sparingly as a leader; he did two sides for Vocalion in 1936, four in a session for Joe Davis in 1945, and albums as a trio leader for EmArcy (1958), Black & Blue Records (1972), and 88 Up Right (1980).
Birth and Death Data: Born March 5th, 1910, Died October 23rd, 1987 (New York City)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1939 - 1940
Roles Represented in DAHR: piano
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BS-042933||10-in.||10/11/1939||Meet Doctor Foo||Coleman Hawkins Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BS-042934||10-in.||10/11/1939||Fine dinner||Coleman Hawkins Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BS-042935||10-in.||10/11/1939||She's funny that way||Thelma Carpenter ; Coleman Hawkins Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BS-042936||10-in.||10/11/1939||Body and soul||Coleman Hawkins Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BS-046156||10-in.||1/3/1940||When day is done||Coleman Hawkins' All-Star Octet||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BS-046157||10-in.||1/3/1940||The sheik of Araby||Coleman Hawkins' All-Star Octet||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BS-046158||10-in.||1/3/1940||My blue heaven||Coleman Hawkins' All-Star Octet||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BS-046159||10-in.||1/3/1940||Bouncing with Bean||Coleman Hawkins' All-Star Octet||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rodgers, Gene," accessed October 16, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105503.
Rodgers, Gene. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105503.
"Rodgers, Gene." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 16 October 2021.
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