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Heard, J. C.locked

(08 October 1917–27 September 1988)
  • Barry Kernfeld


Heard, J. C. (08 October 1917–27 September 1988), jazz drummer, was born in Dayton, Ohio. His father was a factory worker; further details of his parents are unknown. Heard told interviewer Peter Vacher that he actually was named J. C. by his parents, and he invented the given names James Charles to satisfy authorities who would not believe that the initials should stand alone. He was raised in Detroit from infancy. A tap dancer by age five, he taught himself to play drums. At about age ten he won an amateur tap dancing contest, and the prize was the opportunity to tour with Butterbeans and Susie. About five weeks after the tour started, the drummer was taken ill, and Heard took his place for the remainder of the show’s run....

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