Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Anderson, Bernard Hartwell

ANDERSON, BERNARD HARTWELL (1919–1997).

A native of Oklahoma City, jazz artist Bernard "Step-Buddy" Anderson was born into a musical family. His older brother, also a jazz fan, played alto sax. Anderson was introduced to various brass instruments, especially the bugle, while a member of the Boy Scouts. He began taking violin lessons at the age of seven. Zelia M. Breaux, noted Oklahoma City music teacher, inspired Anderson. He was a member of the Douglas High School marching and jazz bands under the Breaux's leadership. In 1934, in one of his first professional opportunities, Anderson played with the Ted Armstrong band in Clinton, Oklahoma. In the late 1930s he was a member of the Xavier University jazz band in New Orleans.

In 1939 Anderson returned to Oklahoma City and joined the Leslie Sheffield band that included Charlie Christian and Hank Bridges. The next year he left Oklahoma for the Kansas City jazz scene and became trumpeter for the Jay McShann band. Nationally known by 1942, McShann's band included several widely touted instrumentalists, including Charlie Parker on alto saxophone. Anderson remained with McShann until the World War II draft broke up the group. He then moved from one band to another before joining the Billy Eckstine Orchestra in 1944. Shortly thereafter, Anderson contacted tuberculosis and returned to Oklahoma City. After recovery from the disease, he was medically advised to abandon the trumpet, and he switched to piano. Anderson influenced numerous jazz trumpeters, including Dizzy Gillispie and Fats Navarro. Like many Oklahoma-born jazz artists, Buddy Anderson is another obscure but important figure in the evolution of modern jazz styles.

George O. Carney

See also: ZELIA PAGE BREAUX, CHARLES HENRY CHRISTIAN, JAZZ, JAMES COLUMBUS McSHANN, JAMES ANDREW RUSHING, SECOND STREET

Bibliography

George Hoefer, "Buddy Anderson," Down Beat 30 (19 December 1963).

Nathan W. Pearson, Jr., Goin' to Kansas City (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987).

Ross Russell, Jazz Style in Kansas City and the Southwest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971).

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society. This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society and are held in the agency's Research Division Photo Archives.


Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
George O. Carney, "Anderson, Bernard Hartwell ," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed October 20, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia