Edgar Battle biography

Edgar Battle

Musical Artist

1907 – 1977

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Who was Edgar Battle?

Edgar "Puddinghead" Battle 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" and "Doggin' Around".

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Born
Oct 3, 1907
Atlanta
Died
Feb 6, 1977
New York City

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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