From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Bacon, Louis

(born: 1904  -  died: 1967) 

Bacon, a trumpeter and singer, was born in Louisville, KY, and reared in Chicago. He left Chicago to play with Zinky Cohn in Michigan and moved on to New York in 1928. He performed and recorded with Benny Carter, Duke Ellington, Chick Webb, and Louis Armstrong. In 1938, he contracted tuberculosis and was forced to take a break from music. He returned in 1939 and toured Europe and recorded with Willis Lewis and Freddy Johnson. He returned to the United States in 1941. His lung problems returned, so he gave up playing the trumpet around 1947, although he played on occasion in the late 1950s. In his final years, he was an ambulance driver. Bacon's trumpet playing can be heard on a number of recordings, including Bessie Smith: the world's greatest blues singer; Cootie Williams and His Orchestra, 1941-1944; and I'm Shooting High. For more see "Louis Bacon" in the Oxford Music Online Database; and Louis Bacon at


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Bessie Smith: the world's greatest blues singer (album)
NKAA Source: Cootie Williams and his orchestra, 1941-1944 (album)
NKAA Source: I'm shooting high: from 20th Century-Fox production "King of burlesque" (sound recording)
NKAA Source: Oxford Music Online (database)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Kentucky African American Musicians in Illinois (Chicago)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bacon, Louis,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 20, 2018,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:39