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AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC & HISTORY

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One Response to AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC & HISTORY

  1. Karla R.Hollingsworth says:

    Mr. Benjamin (Bennie) Carew was my beloved great uncle of whom was a local pop jazz musician and singing artist. The song “Kansas City,” recorded at this studio, was one of many recordings he and his trio made within the greater Grand Rapids area. Mr. Carew was a popular entertainer for more than four decades. He was known for a low-key performing style. He was born in Staples, Minnesota, and as a youngster moved to Grand Haven, MI. At the age of 12 he began playing drums. He first became know to local jazz enthusiasts in 1938 when he began playing lounges such as the now-defunct Hattem’s, Langdon’s, Club Indigo and Sayfees. Nat King Cole and Eubie Blake would sit in on Mr. Carew’s shows numerous times.
    In the early 1940s Mr. Carew left Grand Rapids to work on the road, performing over the years with such jazz greats as Lionel Hampton and Billy Strayhorn. He summed up his performing philosophy as:”Just give the public good music and they’ll hang around. My forte is related to people. I’m on the stand to make ’em feel good. They can listen, they can dance. No rush, no hurry. Just a good time.” He died on a Saturday, June 5, 1982 of complications from cancer. He is survived by his only daughter, Ruth Ann LaCour, a grand daughter Challen Joy and a host of nieces and nephews inclusive of this author, Karla R. (Taylor) Hollingsworth of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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