Jimmy Yancey

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Jimmy Yancey (* 20th February 1898 in Chicago ; † 17th September 1951 in Chicago, actually James Edward Yancey ) was a black Blues - and Boogie Woogie - pianist whose character it was, all his plays, no matter what key, always with the sound of it to end.

At the age of six, Yancey appeared publicly on vaudeville shows as a singer and tap dancer . He later toured the US and Europe. From 1915 he settled in his hometown Chicago, began to compose his own songs and played in clubs and at house rent parties . In 1925 he was then groundskeeper at Comiskey Park for the Chicago White Sox baseball team . Outside of Chicago, Yancey only became popular in 1936 when Meade "Lux" Lewis covered and released one of his songs ( Yancey Special ). It was not until May 1939 that Yancey made his own recordings with the songs The Fives and Jimmy's Stuff , which Dan Qualey produced. Yancey later published on Victor , OKeh and Bluebird . In 1948 he performed with his wife Estelle "Mama" Yancey at Carnegie Hall in New York City .

Although Yancey gained some degree of fame by the end of his life, he never quit his job as groundskeeper with the Chicago White Sox until his death in 1951 . In 1986, Yancey was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Early Influences category.


  • Chicago Piano, Vol. 1 (1951)
  • Pure Blues (1951)
  • Yancey Special (1951)
  • Jimmy Yancey Special (1952)
  • Jimmy and Mama Yancey (1952)
  • Jimmy Yancey (1953)
  • In The Beginning (1989)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1939-1940) (1991)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1940-1943) (1991)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1943-1950) (1991)
  • Unissued 1951 Yancey Wire Recordings (1998)


Web links


  1. According to the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. The date of birth 1894 is also given, e.g. B. in Bohländers Reclams Jazzführer 1989