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Gene Rodgers

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

Recordings

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  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rodgers, Gene," accessed August 2, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105503.

Rodgers, Gene. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 2, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105503.

"Rodgers, Gene." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 2 August 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105503

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