Hampton, Lionel

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Lionel Hampton was born in Louisville, Kentucky on April 20, 1908. He died on August 31, 2002 in New York City. He showed a talent for music at an early age and by high school, was playing drums with a jazz band organized by his employer, a newspaper called the Chicago Defender. Later, he attended classes in music theory at the University of Southern California and gained a reputation as a great drummer on the West Coast. In 1930, Louis Armstrong, when working for Les Hite’s band, asked Hampton to fill in at an engagement at Sebastian’s Cotton Club in Los Angeles. Then, while at a recording session, Hampton discovered a vibraharp in an adjoining room and began experimenting with the instrument. He would later become recognized as the “King of Vibes.”

In 1936, Benny Goodman invited him to join his newly formed quartet and this relationship lasted for four years until Hampton decided to strike out on his own, forming the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in New York City in 1940. After the demise of the big band sound in the 1960s, Hampton changed the size and structure of his band and called it "The Inner Circle." His professional presence in the music industry helped hit a new milestone as blacks and whites began to integrate the scene, breaking barriers that had existed before that time. In 1936, Hampton married Gladys Riddle who became his business manager, running all aspects of the enterprise until her death in 1971.

Besides touring worldwide and playing engagements at home, Hampton developed a working relationship with the University of Idaho in 1984 and the annual jazz festival became a huge success. The university honored Hampton in 1987 by dedicating its school of music as the “Lionel Hampton School of Music.” The festival continued to grow with jazz artists from around the world participating. Hampton remained active in the festival until his death in 2002.

For further information on Hampton’s life, see Hamp: An Autobiography by Lionel Hampton and James Haskins, Warner Books, 1989.

From the guide to the Lionel Hampton Papers, circa 1918-2002, 1940-1990, (University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives)

Lionel Hampton was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 20, 1908, and died on August 31, 2002 in New York City. He established himself as a great drummer in Chicago in the late 1920s. In 1930, Louis Armstrong asked Hampton to fill in at an engagement in Los Angeles. There, Hampton discovered a vibraharp and soon became known as the "King of Vibes." In 1936 Benny Goodman asked him to join his trio (with Gene Krupa and Teddy Wilson) to form the Benny Goodman Quartet. He left Goodman and formed his own orchestra in 1940, and kept it going for the rest of his life. After 1984 Hampton committed part of his famous energy to the University of Idaho and its annual jazz festival. This festival has borne his name since 1985 and, in 1987, the University of Idaho named its School of Music for Hampton.

From the description of Lionel Hampton library collection, 1918-2002, (bulk 1940-1990). (University of Idaho Library). WorldCat record id: 173846571

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Romeo gone now [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Reindeer [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Time for Lyons [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Eugene Earle Collection, 1939-1980s University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel. Lionel Hampton library collection, 1918-2002, (bulk 1940-1990). University of Idaho Library
referencedIn Musical composers. African American Sheet Music Collection, 1879-1940 University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Volare [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection Artist Name File, 1940-2005 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. On green dolphin street [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. When you are smiling [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Morton, Hugh M. Hugh Morton photographs and films: People and events, late 1920s-early 2000s (bulk 1940s-1990s) (Series 2). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Blues for hamp [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Lionel Hampton Papers, circa 1918-2002, 1940-1990 University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Misty [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn United Negro College Fund. Officers and directors: biographical files, [ca. 1950]-1982. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Undecided [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, p. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Gabler, Lee,. Milt Gabler Collection, 1928-2006, undated. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Dark eyes [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Misty [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Summertime [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Stanger, Philip. Collection, 1886-1988 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. On green dolphin street [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Co. Washington Bureau. Pittsburgh Courier, Washington Bureau collection, 1946-1968. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Dizzy spells [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn The Benny Goodman Papers, 1910-1992, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Hello Dolly! [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Stanger, Philip. Philip Stanger collection, 1886-1988 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
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 Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Loch Lomond [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. This could be the start of something new [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn African American Sheet Music Collection 2002-063, 2002-264., 1879-1940 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. What's your hurry [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Jeepers creepers [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. This could be the start of something new [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Ambassador Auditorium Collection, 1974-1995 Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries
creatorOf Sound Recordings of Meetings and Telephone Conversations (Nixon Administration). 2/16/1971 - 7/18/1973. Sound Recordings of Meetings and Telephone Conversations. 2/16/1971 - 7/18/1973. Oval Office tape number 452
referencedIn Bill Spilka collection of jazz videorecordings [videorecording] The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Ginger man [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Ginger man [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Too much [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn People of Indianapolis, 1983 Indiana University, Bloomington. Center for the Study of History and Memory
referencedIn Online Archive of California. Jazz concert programs ca 1948-1952. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. I found a new baby [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Blues for hamp [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Hugh Morton Photographs and Films, late 1920s-2006, (bulk 1940s-1990s) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. North Carolina Collection.
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Look! Four hands [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr, marim. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. I found a new baby [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Duke Ellington recordings collection Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Dizzy spells [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Arnett Cobb Collection MSS 322., 1929 to 1989, 1955 to 1989 Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Libary
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Hello Dolly! [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Walton, Charles. Charles Walton collection, ca. 1930s-1940s (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Walton, Charles. Collection, circa 1930s-1940s Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Volare [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Illinois Jacquet Collection MSS 403., 1990 Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Libary
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Information Agency. 1900 - 2003. Video Recordings and Motion Picture Film Relating to the Work of Willis Conover. 1982 - 1993. Video Recording on Count Basie
creatorOf Hampton, Lionel, 1908-2002. Jeepers creepers [Multimédia multisupport] / Lionel Hampton, vibr. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alley, Eddie, person
associatedWith Cobb, Arnett, 1918–1989 person
associatedWith Dodge, Joseph Jeffers person
associatedWith Dodge, Joseph Jeffers person
associatedWith Earle, Eugene. person
associatedWith Goodman, Benny, 1909- person
associatedWith Hampton, Gladys person
associatedWith Hampton, Gladys person
associatedWith Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory corporateBody
associatedWith Jacquet, Illinois, Performer. person
associatedWith Morton, Hugh M. person
associatedWith Morton, Hugh M. person
associatedWith Musical composers person
associatedWith Musical composers person
associatedWith Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Co. Washington Bureau. corporateBody
associatedWith Spilka, Bill person
associatedWith Stanger, Philip. person
associatedWith United Negro College Fund. corporateBody
associatedWith Walton, Charles person
associatedWith Walton, Charles. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Music
Photographs
Jazz musicians--Archives
Artifacts
Sound Recordings
African Americans
Jazz--History--20th century--Sources
African American jazz musicians--Archives
Occupation
Jazz musicians
Activity

Person

Birth 1908-04-20

Death 2002-08-31

Active 1918

Active 2002

Americans

English

Information

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