Edgar Wm. Battle

Edgar "Puddinghead" Battle (October 3, 1907, Atlanta, Georgia – February 6, 1977, New York City) was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger. He performed on trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and keyboard.

Battle was born into a musical family; his mother played guitar, and his father, bass and piano. He started out on trumpet, playing with J. Neal Montgomery and Harvey Quiggs as a teenager. He formed his own band, the Dixie Serenaders, in 1921, while he was a student at Morris Brown University, and changed the name to Dixie Ramblers a few years later. Around this time he also played with Eddie Heywood, Sr., and toured with the 101 Ranch traveling show. In the 1920s he worked with Gene Coy, Andy Kirk, Blanche Calloway, Ira Coffey, and Willie Bryant. He moved to New York City in the early 1930s and did short stints with Benny Carter and Sam Wooding before joining George White's ensemble on Broadway. Over time he began doing more work as a studio musician and arranger, writing charts for Cab Calloway, Paul Whiteman, Fats Waller, Earl Hines, Rudy Vallee, and Count Basie.

During World War II Battle held a position as an electrician in a shipyard, concomitantly running a big band with Shirley Clay. In the 1950s he founded Cosmopolitan Records, and continued to play in big bands part-time through the 1960s. Among his numerous jazz compositions are the pieces "Topsy" (co-composed with Eddie Durham) and "Doggin' Around" (with Herschel Evans).

Birth and Death Data: Born October 3, 1907 (Atlanta), Died February 6, 1977 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1938 - 1942

Roles Represented in DAHR: trumpet, composer, songwriter, arranger

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-028943 10-in. 11/10/1938 Topsy Benny Goodman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-051524 10-in. 6/19/1940 Topsy-turvy Earl Hines Orchestra ; Walter Fuller Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter, arranger  
Victor BS-053134 10-in. 6/13/1940 Be happy Glenn Miller Orchestra ; Marion Hutton Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter  
Victor PBS-055492 10-in. 3/26/1941 You mean so much to me Freddy Martin Orchestra ; Eddie Stone Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor PBS-061545 10-in. 8/20/1941 Yellow fire Earl Hines Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-064808 10-in. 8/25/1941 You mean so much to me Carmene Calhoun ; Skinnay Ennis Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BS-074380 10-in. 5/27/1942 Strictly instrumental Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Battle, Edgar Wm.," accessed September 26, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106189.

Battle, Edgar Wm.. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 26, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106189.

"Battle, Edgar Wm.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 26 September 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106189

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