Count Basie biography
Considered one of history's most influential jazz musicians, William "Count" Basie was born on August 21, 1904, in Red Bank, New Jersey. He began on the vaudeville circuit, which took him Kansas City. He assumed leadership of a nine-piece band, which eventually became the Count Basie Orchestra. The group recorded several hits during the late 1930s and early '40s, including "Jumpin' at the Woodside," "Lester Leaps In," "Taxi War Dance," "Miss Thing" and "One O'Clock Jump," the band's theme song as well as its most popular recording. By the late 1940s, the Count Basie Orchestra's fame had waned. Count Basie died on April 26, 1984, in Hollywood, Florida.