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

Bacon, Louis

(born: 1904  -  died: 1967) 

Louis Bacon, a trumpeter and singer, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of George Bacon and Annie Dean [source: 1904 Kentucky Birth Records]; he was raised, however, in Chicago, IL. In 1910, he lived in an orphanage in Chicago [source: U.S. Census].

Bacon left Chicago to play with Zinky Cohn in Michigan, then 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

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bacon, Louis,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-01-03 20:46:59