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

Chittison, Herman

(born: 1908  -  died: 1967) 

Herman Chittison was born in Flemingsburg, KY, then left Kentucky to attend school in Tennessee when he was 13 years old. He was the son of Charles and Sarah Chittison.

After completing high school, Herman Chittison enrolled at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1925, but he soon left school to pursue his music career. Chittison was a self-taught jazz pianist who had studied chemistry in college. Once his music career took off, he traveled to New York, then played in Europe and Egypt and toured with Louis Armstrong.

Chittison returned to the U.S. during World War II. For seven years he played on the weekly CBS radio series, Casey, Crime Photographer.

For more see Biographical Dictionary of Jazz, by C. E. Claghorn; Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 9th ed., ed. by L. Kuhn; and F. E. Lockwood, "Flemingsburg Jazz pianist lives on in ebony and ivory, musician's artistry reached across racial divide," Lexington Herald Leader, 2/26/2000, Main News section, p. A1.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Chittison, Herman,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-01-03 21:17:26