Shelton "Scad" Hemphill

Born: Mar. 16, 1906, Birmingham, Alabama

Died: Dec. 1959

Trumpet with Bessie Smith early 1924 Played with Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Teddy Hill, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Chick Webb, the Mills Blues Rhythm Band and others. Was called "the greatest first trumpet player in the business" by Louis Armstrong.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame



Shelton "Scad" Hemphill. From the All Music Guide: A fine section trumpeter who unfortunately rarely had opportunities to solo, Hemphill was a part of several major orchestras. Early on Hemphill toured with Bessie Smith as part of Fred Longshaw's band (1924). After attending Wilberforce College, he worked with Horace Henderson's Collegians. Hemphill was with Benny Carter (1928-29), Chick Webb (1930-31), the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1931-37), Louis Armstrong's Orchestra (1937-44) and Duke Ellington (1944-49). After leaving Ellington, Shelton Hemphill (who never led his own record date) freelanced for a time but eventually retired from playing due to ill health.



Now for a number one first chair man, and I have him right here in my own orchestra. And that man is none other than Shelton (Scad) Hemphill. Any time Scad holds down that first chair in your orchestra, just don't worry about a thing. Because any time, any phrasing, attacking, giving each note its full value, tone or hell, anything that a first chair man should have (which most of them don't have) Scad's got it. And believe me, Scad can see. What I mean by that is...he can read his what's his name off. Ha...Ha.



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