Elmer James

Elmer Taylor James (1910, Yonkers, New York - July 25, 1954, New York City) was an American jazz double-bassist and tubist.

James primarily played tuba early in his career, including with Gene Rodgers, June Clark, and Chick Webb in the late 1920s. He worked with Webb until 1933, including on recordings with Louis Armstrong. Around 1933 he switched to bass and continued working with Webb, as well as with Benny Carter, Bob Howard, Buster Bailey, Fletcher Henderson, and Red Allen. From 1934 to 1936 he played with the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, and later in the decade with Edgar Hayes, Mezz Mezzrow, Jabbo Smith, and Tommy Ladnier. He worked with Claude Hopkins and Zutty Singleton in the early 1940s, but stopped performing and recording after about 1943.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1910 (Yonkers), Died July 21, 1954

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1932 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: string bass, tuba

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

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 60 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-74822 10-in. 12/8/1932 I hate to leave you now Louis Armstrong Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with trumpet solo and male vocal solo instrumentalist, tuba  
Victor BS-028988 10-in. 11/21/1938 Revolutionary blues Mezz Mezzrow Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-028989 10-in. 11/21/1938 Comin' on with the come on Mezz Mezzrow Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-028990 10-in. 11/21/1938 Comin' on with the come on Mezz Mezzrow Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-028991 10-in. 11/21/1938 Swingin' for "Mezz" Mezz Mezzrow Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-030318 10-in. 11/28/1938 Ja-da Tommy Ladnier Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-030319 10-in. 11/28/1938 Really the blues Tommy Ladnier Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-030320 10-in. 11/28/1938 When you and I were young, Maggie Tommy Ladnier Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BS-030321 10-in. 11/28/1938 Weary blues Tommy Ladnier Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38598 10-in. 9/11/1934 Limehouse blues-1, 5 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38599 10-in. 9/11/1934 Shanghai shuffle-2, 3 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38600 10-in. 9/11/1934 Big John special-3, 4 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38601 10-in. 9/11/1934 Happy as the day is long-3, 5 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38602 10-in. 9/12/1934 Tidal wave-1, 4 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38603 10-in. 9/12/1934 Down South camp meeting-1, 2 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38604 10-in. 9/12/1934 Wrappin' it up-2, 3 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38605 10-in. 9/12/1934 Memphis blues-3 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38723 10-in. 9/25/1934 Wild party-1, 5 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38724 10-in. 9/25/1934 Rug cutter's swing-1, 2, 4 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38725 10-in. 9/25/1934 Hotter than 'ell-1, 4 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 38728 10-in. 9/25/1934 Liza-1, 3 Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 39217 10-in. 1/2/1935 It's unbelievable Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 39218 10-in. 1/2/1935 Whisper sweet Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 39219 10-in. 1/2/1935 Throwin' stones at the sun Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
Decca 39220 10-in. 1/2/1935 You fit into the picture Bob Howard Orchestra instrumentalist, string bass  
(Results 1-25 of 60 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "James, Elmer," accessed December 8, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113596.

James, Elmer. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113596.

"James, Elmer." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 8 December 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113596

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.