Jazz bandleader and singer who sang "Minnie the Moocher" and "St. James Infirmary Blues" and lead and performed with one of the best big bands.
He and his sister Blanche toured with a popular black music revue called Plantation Days.
He devoted his entire life to making and performing music, singing up until his death at the age of eighty-six in 1994.
He married Wenonah Betty Conacher in 1928; after their divorce in 1949, he remarried Zulme Nuffie MacNeal in 1953.
He led his big band and staffed it with artists like Dizzy Gillespie.