Kid Ory led his Original Creole Jazz Band from New Orleans to Los Angeles and from there to Chicago in the years after WWI. He released his earliest records on his is very own Sunshine label (the first Blues music to be made on the West-coast ) and distribited his products through a single store in LA. Kid later went on to play trombone on Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith‘s hit records, and he also had a great talent for picking up musicians who could improvise, giving many future stars a place in his band. This pioneer of Jazz and Blues was still playing a residency at the age 80.
‘Tin Roof Blues’ from the Kid Ory Creole Orchestra;
Advised by doctors to seek a more healthy environment, he relocated to Los Angeles in 1919 and made the first jazz ever recorded on the West-coast, as demand for the new ‘race music‘ grew. Kid’s early efforts included some vocal tracks by Blues Divas, Roberta Dudley and Ruth Lee in 1922. Kid had the records pressed and issued them under his own Sunshine label, selling them through a single outlet, Spike’s Record Store on Central Avenue. Kid moved his operations to Chicago in 1925, where the prohibition era clubs and speakeasies were hungry for good live music. His talented and disciplined musicians were in demand for studio sessions too, backing Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith on many hit records. He also gave a chance to young players like Benny Goodman and later to the bass player Charlie Mingus.