Johnny St. Cyr

A fine rhythmic banjoist and guitarist, Johnny St. Cyr was a New Orleans pioneer who was greatly in demand in the 1920s. Self-taught, St. Cyr had his own trio as far back as 1905. He played in New Orleans with A.J. Piron, the Superior, Olympia, and Tuxedo bands, and with Kid Ory (when King Oliver was the cornetist) in addition to Fate Marable's riverboat band. After moving to Chicago in 1923, St. Cyr made his place in history by recording with King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong (as a key member of Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven) while performing nightly with Doc Cook's Dreamland Orchestra. In 1930, he returned to New Orleans where he made his living outside of music but still played with local groups (including with Paul Barbarin and Alphonse Picou). In 1955, St. Cyr moved to Los Angeles and returned to music full-time, leading the Young Men From New Orleans at Disneyland from 1961 until his death in 1966.
Scott Yanow, Rovi

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