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Boyd Atkins

Boyd Atkins (1900 – March 1, 1965) was an American jazz and blues reed player. He played saxophone and violin professionally.

Atkins was born in Paducah, Kentucky, United States.

Atkins played with the Fate Marable band touring on the Mississippi River in the late 1910s. He was on the St. Louis, Missouri musical scene with the band of Dewey Jackson early in the 1920s. Following this Atkins moved to Chicago and led his own band which included Kid Ory. He also worked with Earl Hines and Carroll Dickerson. In 1927, Atkins joined Louis Armstrong's band at the Sunset Cafe in Chicago, where he played clarinet along with soprano and alto saxophone. Armstrong's band played Atkins' most famous tune, "Heebie Jeebies". Later in the 1920s he again led his own band, The Firecrackers.

Between 1931 and 1934 he played with Eli Rice, and became a bandleader in Minneapolis in the middle of the decade. He also played with Rook Ganz there. In 1940 he fronted the Society Swingsters in Peoria, Illinois. He was back in Chicago by 1951, and in the 1950s he took more work as an arranger, and played more often with blues musicians such as Elmore James and Magic Sam.

Atkins died in Cook County, Illinois, on March 1, 1965.

Some details of Atkins' life are obscure, with his full date of birth unknown.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1900 (New Orleans), Died March 1, 1965 (Cook County)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1926 - 1939

Roles Represented in DAHR: songwriter, lyricist, composer

= 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-042943 10-in. 10/12/1939 The heebie jeebies are rockin' the town Lionel Hampton Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo lyricist  
Columbia W142476 10-in. 7/29/1926 Heebie jeebies Ethel Waters and her Jazz Band Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, trombone, and piano songwriter  
OKeh 9534 10-in. 2/26/1926 Heebie jeebies Louis Armstrong ; Hot Five Jazz/dance ensemble, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
OKeh 74334 10-in. Sept. 1926 Heebie jeebies Alberta Hunter Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance quartet songwriter  
OKeh 80137 10-in. 9/24/1926 Heebie jeebies The Goofus Five ; Ernest Hare Jazz/dance ensemble, with male vocal solo songwriter  
OKeh W404408 10-in. 10/3/1930 Heebie jeebies The Three Boswell Sisters Female vocal trio, with piano songwriter  
Brunswick E36432 10-in. 3/30/1931 Heebie jeebie Chick Webb Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with vocal lyricist  
Brunswick E37113 10-in. 8/27/1931 Heebie jeebies Boswell Sisters Female vocal trio, with jazz/dance band lyricist  
Brunswick E3886-E3887 10-in. 10/1/1926 Heebie jeebies Royal Flush Orchestra ; Fess Williams Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Atkins, Boyd," accessed July 17, 2024,

Atkins, Boyd. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from

"Atkins, Boyd." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 17 July 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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