This Week in Texas Music History: “Herb Ellis”
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a jazz legend who got his start because of an out of tune guitar.
Herb Ellis was born in Farmersville, Texas, on August 4, 1921. As a child, Ellis grew frustrated that his older brother was unable to tune a guitar correctly. So, Ellis took the instrument, began playing it, and unwittingly launched his own remarkable career. Ellis’s unique and fluid style earned him steady work with such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and the Oscar Peterson Trio.
Considered one of the finest jazz guitarists of his era, Ellis formed his own band, The Soft Winds, in 1947. Herb Ellis went on to tour and record with Barney Kessel and other jazz greats. He also performed on TV shows hosted by Steve Allen, Merv Griffin, and Regis Philbin.