Calvin Bostick

Blues Vocals, Piano Chess Records

Born: July 4, 1928 AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Aristocrat had carried three piano trios on its roster, under the leadership of Prince Cooper, Jimmy Bell, and Duke Groner. Though each trio remained active, and all three would record again, the Chess brothers had lost interest in them. Instead, they decided to pick up pianist and singer Calvin Bostick, whose unit had been working steadily in the South Side clubs for a year. He was born Calvin Thomas Bostick on July 4, 1928, in Anniston, Alabama. He began playing piano when he was four years old, and attended secondary school at the Mary Potter Academy, in Oxford, North Carolina. He majored in music at Lincoln University, in Jefferson City, Missouri, studying under the famed composer R. Nathaniel Dett. There Bostick wrote “People Will Talk about You” and “All of My Life.” Upon graduation in 1947 he moved to Chicago, but did not join Local 208 until October 18, 1949.



C. T. Bostick showed up right away on the Local 208 contract list on October 20, 1949, when he posted a contract for 3 nights at Square's. He drew well enough to rate another week there (contract accepted and filed November 3, under the name "Cal Bostick"). On January 19, 1950, he posted an "indefinite" contract with the 113 Club, which featured piano trios. In April he moved to the 411 Club (3 month contract filed on April 6). In July, he extended his residency there for another six months (contract posted on July 20). The 411 Club was a cocktail lounge, where Bostic's classically trained tinkling posed no threat of stretching the boundaries of jazz.

Bostick cut his first single for Chess in October, while still resident at the 411. An item in the October 14 Chicago Defender, titled “Calvin Cuts 2 New Sides,” claimed that the sides were “currently on tryout with local disk jockeys.” “People Will Talk about You” was described as a “novelty blues,” and “All of My Life” was described as a ”blues ballad.” These were both accurate descriptions. The numbers were plainly inspired by Nat King Cole, as was Bostick's vocal style on each. We do not know who Bostick's guitarist and bassist were, but the trio heard on the record is tight and virtuosic and the guitarist gets a solo.













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