Hall of Fame trumpeter, composer and bandleader scored big with musical homage to his hometown
ERSKINE HAWKINS, BORN IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA on July 26, 1914, was a renowned trumpeter, big bandleader, and composer. Nicknamed the “Twentieth-Century Gabriel,” because of his heavenly trumpet play, Hawkins gained fame as a member of the ‘Bama State Collegians, one of the finest college bands in the 1930s. In 1938, Hawkins formed Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra, which became a popular dance band, packing venues across the country and prestigious clubs such as the Roseland and Savoy in New York City. Hawkins had several hit recordings, including his signature song “Tuxedo Junction,” “Tippin’ In,” “Don’t Cry Baby,” and “After Hours.”
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