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Tiny Parham

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  • Born: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Died: Milwaukee, WI
  • Years Active: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Tiny Parham (who was actually rather large) was most significant as an arranger/bandleader in Chicago who recorded many memorable sides from 1927-1930. After growing up in Kansas City, Parham toured the Southwest with a territory band and then settled in Chicago in 1926. In addition to accompanying blues singers and cutting sides with Johnny Dodds, Parham recorded extensively with His Musicians, bands that mostly consisted of now-obscure Chicago players; best-known are cornetist Punch Miller and (in 1930) bassist Milt Hinton. Parham's arrangements were often atmospheric, and such numbers as "The Head-Hunter's Dream," "Jogo Rhythm," "Blue Melody Blues," "Blue Island Blues," "Washboard Wiggles," and "Dixieland Doin's" were particularly memorable. After 1930, Parham spent the remainder of his life playing in theaters, often on organ after the mid-'30s, only recording three further titles in 1940 before his premature death. Before the end of the LP era, Swaggie had reissued all of Parham's recordings (including alternate takes); the master versions have since been compiled on two Classics CDs.