Gordon "Specs" Powell (June 5, 1922 – September 15, 2007) was a jazz drummer and percussionist who began in the swing era. He also worked in the Bebop and Hard bop idioms.
Specs was the First Black staff musician hired by CBS in 1943. Born in New York City, a proud Trinidadian, he started out on piano but became exclusively a drummer in the late 1930s. He worked with Edgar Hayes (1939), Benny Carter (1941–42), Ben Webster, and others early in his career.
Powell went on to play percussions on The Ed Sullivan Show in the early 1960s. His sole album as a leader, Movin' In (Roulette) was in 1957. He remained active professionally until the 1970s and was honored by the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 2004.
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Birth and Death Data: Born June 5, 1922 (New York City), Died September 15, 2007
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1941
Roles Represented in DAHR: drums
= 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-067978||10-in.||10/7/1941||Tweed me||John Kirby Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, drums|
|Victor||BS-067979||10-in.||10/7/1941||Move over||John Kirby Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, drums|
|Victor||BS-067980||10-in.||10/7/1941||Wondering where||Buster Bailey ; John Kirby Orchestra ; Russell Procope ; Charlie Shavers||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio||instrumentalist, drums|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Powell, Specs," accessed March 28, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107318.
Powell, Specs. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107318.
"Powell, Specs." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 28 March 2023.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
Wikipedia: Specs Powell
Discogs: Specs Powell
Allmusic: Specs Powell
Linked Open Data Sources
LCNAR: Powell, Specs - http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n95105567
Wikidata: Specs Powell - http://www.wikidata.org/entity/Q212165
MusicBrainz: Specs Powell - https://musicbrainz.org/artist/9cfc8695-6479-46f3-832b-524e93c191e9
ISNI: 0000 0001 1617 3211 - http://www.isni.org/isni/0000000116173211
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