Hal Singer

Harold Joseph "Hal" Singer (born 8 October 1919), also known as Hal "Cornbread" Singer, is an American rhythm & blues and jazz bandleader and saxophonist. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Singer studied violin as a child but, as a teenager, switched to clarinet and then tenor saxophone, which became his instrument of choice. From the late 1930s he began playing in local bands, including Ernie Fields', before joining Jay McShann's orchestra in 1943 and then moving to New York. After working in other bands, he joined Oran "Hot Lips" Page's band in 1947 and began working as a session musician with King Records. ...show more

Harold Joseph "Hal" Singer (born 8 October 1919), also known as Hal "Cornbread" Singer, is an American rhythm & blues and jazz bandleader and saxophonist. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Singer studied violin as a child but, as a teenager, switched to clarinet and then tenor saxophone, which became his instrument of choice. From the late 1930s he began playing in local bands, including Ernie Fields', before joining Jay McShann's orchestra in 1943 and then moving to New York. After working in other bands, he joined Oran "Hot Lips" Page's band in 1947 and began working as a session musician with King Records.

In early 1948 he left Page, formed his own small group, and was signed to Mercury Records where he cut his first single "Fine As Wine" with a B side "Rock Around the Clock" (not the same title made famous by Bill Haley), co-written with Sam Theard. For the Savoy label of Newark, New Jersey he recorded the instrumental "Corn Bread," which made #1 on the R & B charts in September 1948, and gave Singer a new popularity and nickname. His follow-up the following year, "Beef Stew," was a much smaller hit. In the early and mid-1950s he recorded with Mercury, toured with R&B artists such as The Orioles and Charles Brown, and increasingly worked as a session musician.

In 1958 he began recording with Prestige Records as a jazz soloist and performing at the Metropole Cafe in New York with leading jazz musicians such as Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins. In 1965, after touring Europe with Earl "Fatha" Hines' band, Singer stayed in France to settle near Paris. He continued to record and also toured extensively around Europe and Africa, performing with various bands including Charlie Watts' and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. His 1969 album, Paris Soul Food, featuring Singer on saxophone and singing; Robin Hemingway, vocals, arrangements and album production; and Manu Dibango, saxophone, organ and arrangements won a French Record Academy award for best international LP in 1969. ...show less

Albums & Singles by Hal Singer