Sonny Clay

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Birthday
15, 1899
Birthplace
Texas
Death Date
Apr 13, 1973 (73)
Birth Sign
Taurus
Birthday
15, 1899
Birthplace
Texas
Death Date
Apr 13, 1973 (73)

About

Jazz artist who became an unwitting hero of Australia's jazz scene after bringing his band to the country in 1928.

Before Fame

He studied piano, drums, and saxophone. He began playing with local bands in Phoenix, and he toured up and down the West Coast with several orchestras.

Trivia

His all-black jazz band earned a great deal of attention in mostly white Australia--too much attention, in fact, when the group was accused of carrying on with white women and doing drugs. Amidst much publicity, he was deported.

Family Life

He was born in Chapel Hill, Texas, but his family relocated to Phoenix when he was eight.

Associated With

His fracas with Australia and the country's subsequent ban on black musicians kept Louis Armstrong from performing there until 1954.