Instruments: Trumpet
Date of Birth: May 16, 1916
Place of Birth: Birmingham, Alabama

Wilbur "Dud" Bascomb began developing his musical career on piano then changed to trumpet while at Lincoln Elementary School in Birmingham.

After leaving high school, he played regularly as a member of the "Bama State Collegians", beginning in 1932. He moved to New York with the Collegians, and continued with that band under the leadership of Erskine Hawkins, also from Alabama, through the 1930's and left in 1944. He co-led a sextet with his brother Paul, then for three years they led a big band.

In the summer of 1947 he began the first of two brief spells with Duke Ellington. he then led his own Quintet at Tyler's Chicken Shack in New Jersey for more than three years. He continued to lead his own band through the 1960's and was occupied as a busy free-lancer into the '70's. During this period he made several tours of Japan with tenor player Sam Taylor, toured Europe with the Buddy Tate Band in 1968, and led his own sextet for concerts in Toronto.

He performed on the sound tracks for "It's A Mad, Mad World", "Midnight Cowboy", and "Legend of Nigger Charlie". In 1972, he had the opportunity to share the stage with his son, Wilbur, Jr., on the David Frost television show. He died on Christmas Day, 1972 in New York City.

Bio by Janetta Whitt-Mitchell

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

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