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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Private Alley: 1942

Private Alley: 1942

April 1942. Chicago. "Negro businessmen and women. On his way to play at an afternoon show, bandleader 'Red' Saunders stops to say goodbye to his wife." Photo by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

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Red Saunders

Red (seen earlier here) met his wife, Ella, when she was working as a chorus girl while they were playing the same show in California. They and their two children were the subject of a series of OWI photos taken by Jack Delano in April 1942. Red died in Chicago in 1981, aged 69.

A Red Saunders Playlist

Week Day Blues
Mistreatin' Woman Blues (1951)
Hey Bartender, Buy That Man A Drink (1951)
Boot 'Em Up (1951)
Sugar Bounce (1951)
Hambone (1952)

Occupational Classification

It may seem odd to deem an artist a "businessman," but greats like Duke Ellington and Count Basie would probably have agreed that finance and management skills are fully as essential as musical taste and virtuosity in keeping a band fed, paid, and consistently engaged in entertaining an appreciative public.

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