Cover for COLLINS: Oh, Didn't He Ramble: The Life Story of Lee Collins as Told to Mary Collins. Click for larger image

Oh, Didn't He Ramble

The Life Story of Lee Collins as Told to Mary Collins

The story of the legendary trumpeter, in his own words

Jazz trumpeter Lee Collins made "a powerful noise" that he brought to his own music as well as collaborators like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong. A cornerstone figure in early New Orleans jazz, Collins tells the story of his life in Oh, Didn't He Ramble. He starts with his loose, happy youth in New Orleans, where he played in marching bands, funeral processions, and cutting contests on the street. A life of teen gangs and jealous girlfriends gave way to the drinking and carousing of the New Orleans scene--and the music he helped make world famous. Collins gives a rundown of the city's top musicians, bringing to life Rampart Street and clubs like the Red Onion where "you could cut the funk with a knife." He also traces the highlights of a career that took him to Chicago, New York, and Europe before illness forced him to retire in the mid-1950s.


"A fascinating document of New Orleans jazz history."--Ralph J. Gleason, San Francisco Chronicle

A fine account of the development of jazz in New Orleans and Chicago from 1900 to 1960. . . . It should be in every jazz collection."--Choice


Lee Collins (1901-1960) was a jazz trumpeter who began performing in his teens. His recordings include Jones & Collins Astoria Hot Eight.

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