Ernie Fields

Ernest Lawrence "Ernie" Fields (August 28, 1904 - May 11, 1997) was an African American trombonist, pianist, arranger and bandleader. He first became known for leading the Royal Entertainers, which were based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and toured along a circuit stretching from Kansas City, Kansas, to Dallas, Texas. In later years he led a band that recorded in Los Angeles. Fields was born in Nacogdoches, Texas and was raised in Taft, Oklahoma. ...show more

Ernest Lawrence "Ernie" Fields (August 28, 1904 - May 11, 1997) was an African American trombonist, pianist, arranger and bandleader. He first became known for leading the Royal Entertainers, which were based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and toured along a circuit stretching from Kansas City, Kansas, to Dallas, Texas. In later years he led a band that recorded in Los Angeles. Fields was born in Nacogdoches, Texas and was raised in Taft, Oklahoma.

He attended Tuskegee Institute and then moved to Tulsa. From the late 1920s, he led a band called the Royal Entertainers, and eventually began touring more widely, and recording. Supported by Bob Wills, Fields' band became the first African-American band to play at the landmark Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa. In 1939, he was invited to New York by John Hammond to record for the Vocalion label, and began to tour nationally.

He did not become a star, but continued to work steadily, recording for smaller labels, and gradually transforming his sound through a smaller band and a repertoire shift from big band, swing to R&B. During World War II, he entertained troops both at home and abroad. He continued to straddle these styles into the 1950s, playing swing standards such as "Tuxedo Junction" and "Begin the Beguine" in a rocking R&B style. In the late 1950s he moved to Los Angeles, California, joining Rendezvous Records, for whom he ran the house band. ...show less

Albums & Singles by Ernie Fields