Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979

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Charles Mingus, African-American jazz bassist, was born April 22, 1922, in Nogales, Arizona. He began to study the cello in 1934, switching to the bass in 1937. In 1939 he began studying composition with Lloyd Reese and composed What love and Half mast inhibitions. He began his professional career in 1940, playing bass with Lee Young, and he toured with Louis Armstromg's big band the following year. In 1942 he played bass with Barney Bigard's ensemble which featured retired trombonist Kid Ory. The next year he began studying symphonic form and technique with Herman Rheinschagen. He toured with Lionel Hampton's big band beginning in 1946 and in 1950 gained national attention as a member of Red Norvo's trio. He founded the Jazz Workshop, Inc., in 1955 and in 1964 started the record company Charles Mingus Enterprises. His autobiography Beneath the underdog was published in 1972. Charles Mingus died Jan. 5, 1979.

From the description of Charles Mingus collection, 1939-1979. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71055796

Biographical Sketch

  • 1922: Born April 22 in Nogales, Arizona, to Harriett Sophia Mingus and Charles Mingus, Sr.; Sergeant Charles Mingus, Sr. retired from the U.S. Army on August 31; Mingus family moved to Los Angeles, California; Harriett Mingus died October 3.
  • 1928: Given his first musical instrument, the trombone, by his father for Christmas.
  • 1934: Persuaded by fellow trombonist and friend Britt Woodman, Mingus began studying the cello.
  • 1937: Suggested by high school musician Buddy Collette, Mingus switched from cello to bass.
  • 1938: Mingus introduced to bassist Red Callender by Buddy Collette; Mingus began studying with Callender; began arranging pieces for the high school jazz ensemble.
  • 1939: Began studying composition with Lloyd Reese; composed What Love and Half Mast Inhibitions.
  • 1940: Professional career began at the age of eighteen when he began playing bass with Lee Young.
  • 1941: Began touring with Louis Armstrong's big band.
  • 1942: Played bass with Barney Bigard's ensemble which featured retired trombonist Kid Ory.
  • 1943: Began studying symphonic form and technique with former bassist of the New York Philharmonic, Herman Rheinschagen.
  • 1944: Married Camilla Jeanne Gross on January 3; met saxophonist Eric Dolphy; Charles Mingus III was born on September 12.
  • 1946: Began touring with Lionel Hampton's big band; Eugene Mingus born in September; Mingus separated from wife Jeanne; Mingus takes part-time job at San Francisco post office during Christmas.
  • 1947: Step-brother Odell Carson died in August.
  • 1950: Gained national attention as a member of Red Norvo's trio.
  • 1951: Married Celia Nielson on April 2; moved from the West Coast to New York City for the remainder of his life.
  • 1952: For economic reasons, Mingus for the second time in his life took a job at the Post Office; persuaded to quit that job by Charlie Parker; celebrated his thirtieth birthday recording the first session for his newly formed record label, Debut Records.
  • 1954: Recorded his tunes Getting Together and Gregarian Chant.
  • 1955: Founded the Jazz Workshop, Inc.
  • 1956: Released Pithecanthropus Erectus in September; established Mingus as an innovative jazz composer.
  • 1959: Although Mingus composed the piece at the age of seventeen, he finally recorded Half Mast Inhibitions with a 22 piece orchestra conducted by Gunther Schuller.
  • 1962: With some difficulty, Mingus began search for a publisher for his autobiographical Beneath the Underdog.
  • 1964: Played concert at Monterey; started record company called Charles Mingus Enterprises, which recorded and released the Monterey concert as its first product under the title "Mingus at Monterey"; Mingus elected Jazz Man of the Year by Downbeat Magazine.
  • 1966: Suffering from psychological and financial problems, Mingus began self-imposed exile from public life and performing.
  • 1969: Resumed his music career in June.
  • 1970: Made final music tour of Europe in the fall.
  • 1971: Granted fellowship for composition from the Guggenheim Foundation; a one hour film titled "Mingus" was aired nationally in March and April; Beneath the Underdog was published by Knopf in April; performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in July.
  • 1972: Commissioned to write three-act ballet on "The Life of Malcolm X" for Alvin Ailey's Ballet for the spring of 1972.
  • 1976: Collaborated on album with pop singer Joni Mitchell.
  • 1979: After battling physical complications for several years, Mingus succumbed on January 5.

From the guide to the Charles Mingus Collection, 1939-1979, (Music Division Library of Congress)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Caroline Keikki Mingus [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Williams, Robert F. (Robert Franklin), 1925-1996. Papers, [195-]-1976. University of Michigan
referencedIn Grover Sales Collection, 1940-2004 Archive of Recorded Sound
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Caroline Keikki Mingus [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Just for laughs PT.2 [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Macero, Teo, 1925-2008. Teo Macero collection, 1949-1992, 1958-1975 (bulk). New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf The Music of Charles Mingus [microform] / Let My Children Hear Music, inc., the Charles Mingus Institute, 1989? The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Charles Mingus Collection, 1939-1979 Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Atlantic Recording Corporation Records (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Library and Archives). Atlantic Recording Corporation Records, 1928-1990, undated. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Just for laughs PT.2 [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Beach, Ed. Edward Beach collection, 1940-1975 (bulk 1950-1975). Library of Congress
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Fables of Faubus [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Duke Ellington's sound of love [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. It might at well be spring [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Williams, Robert F. (Robert Franklin), 1925-1996. Robert F. Williams papers, [195-]-1976. University of Michigan
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Slop [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Atkins, Irene Kahn, 1922-. Major figures in American music [M-R] : [oral history]. Yale University Library
creatorOf Cooper, Barbara. [Interview with Barbara Cooper and Charlie Mingus' Ysobel's table dance] [sound recording] / Barbara Cooper ; [interviewed by] Effie Mihopoulos. Northeastern Illinois University, NEIU Ronald Williams Library
creatorOf Eldridge, Roy, 1911-1989. Body and soul. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. It might at well be spring [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Collection of jazz contracts: Guide, 1949-1957 Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library, HarvardUniversity
referencedIn Mingus, Charles, 1944-. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
creatorOf Alley, Eddie,. Gentleman of rhythm : an oral history : transcript, 2004 / Eddie Alley ; interviewer, Alex Walsh ; editors, Jeff Friedman and Basya Petnick. Museum of Performance & Design
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Farewell farwell [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Lead sheets : unpublished copyright deposits, 1954-1977 / Charles Mingus. Library of Congress
referencedIn Teo Macero collection, 1949-1992, 1958-1975 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. So long Eric [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Grentzer, Rose Marie. Spivacke fund (Rose Marie and Harold Spivacke) collection, 1993-1998. Library of Congress
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Charles Mingus collection, 1939-1979. Library of Congress
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Prayer for passive resistance / Charles Mingus ; arr. by Romulus Franceschini. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. So long Eric [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Slop [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Duke Ellington's sound of love [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Edward Beach Collection, 1940-1975, (bulk 1950-1975) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf Goldberg, Eric. Kaddish for Mingus / Eric Goldberg. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Farewell farwell [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979. Peggy's blue skylight [Multimédia multisupport] / Charles Mingus, cb. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records. Series V., Editor Files, 1873-1984 (bulk 1960-1980). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Jazz--1951-1960--Scores
Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
Jazz
Jazz musicians--Portraits
Jazz--Lead sheets
Instrumental ensemble, Arranged--Scores
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1922-04-22

Death 1979-01-05

Americans

English

Information

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