Huey Long is the last living member of the Original "Ink Spots. Huey was born in Sealy, Texas and worked in various jobs in the Houston area until he got a break playing a banjo in 1925's top band "Frank Davis Louisiana Jazz Band". Huey played in the band with Punch Miller on trumpet and Frank Gibbs on trombone. Later, they were the celebrated "Dixielanders". After migrating to Chicago, Long appeared at the World's Fair, "A Century of Progress" in 1933 with Texas Guinan's Cuban Orchestra. That's when Huey Long had to give up the banjo and started playing the guitar. In the mid-30's, he became a member of Jesse Stone's newly organized orchestra, "Chicago". In the late 30's, he was a member and assistant arranger and conductor to Zilner Randolph, who had the WPA Concert and Swing Band, which included jazz stars Preston Jackson and Franz Jackson.
Long made recordings around the same time with Lil Armstrong on the Decca label and with the famous Buster Bailey, C. Berry and Joe Thomas. In 1940 and 1941, he was a member of Johnny Long's Gig Band, which featured the great Joe Williams. In 1942, he joined Fletcher Henderson's band in the Grand Terrace Cafe in Chicago, and was brought to New York City by Henderson in early 1943. Long then joined Earl "Fatha" Hines, who was revamping his band. Among other names were: Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughn, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Johnson, Willie Randall, George Carey, Jesse Simpkins, Brockman and Bennie Green. In early 1944, Huey Long formed his first trio with C.C. Williams at the piano and Eddie Brown on the bass, which he took into the Three Deuces Café on 52nd street in N.Y.C. The "Ink Spots" had just reached their peak and this is where Ink Spot and leader, Bill Kenny talked Huey into giving up his trio and become an "Ink Spot", recording those mid-40's war-years tunes like "If I Didn't Care", "My Prayer", "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano", "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire", "Java-Java", "Street of Dreams" "To Each His Own" and many more songs featuring Huey's famous guitar. In the late 40's, Huey was recording with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and his "BeBoppers" on Savoy Label.
In the early 50's, Huey was making USA tours with his own trio, and in the mid 50's, he moved to California and entered Los Angeles City College, where he majored in music, putting in a few semesters with plans to teach. Instead, he returned to New York in the late 50's. In the early 60's, he formed his own group of "Ink Spots" and took them to California for a year or two, returning to New York where he decided to teach and write music in his apartment in the CBS Building (now the building that David Letterman's "Late Night" occupies, formerly the Ed Sullivan Theatre). Later, he moved his studio down to 1674 Broadway at 52nd Street. During his studio teaching years, he played many engagements, keeping up with his friends in jazz music. After writing and arranging more than 80 songs for chord melody guitar style, he decided to move back to his "roots" in Houston, Texas, where he developed an exhibit of his vast history, memorabilia and songs. In Sealy, Texas, where they are very proud of their native son, there is a large display in their historical museum commemorating Huey Long. Presently, Huey Long lives in Houston, Texas, where he still writes and teaches, and on weekends, he exhibits his "roots" and his memorabilia. Huey Long is a true gentleman and a legend.
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