Jazz bandleader's signature song was Minnie the Moocher.
He joined his sister Blanche, touring with a popular black music revue.
He was a regular performer at the Cotton Club in Harlem as a singer.
He got married to Wenonah Betty Conacher on July 26, 1928, after their divorce in 1949, he remarried Zulme Nuffie MacNeal in 1953.
He was in a band with Dizzy Gillespie.