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Hampton, Lionel Leolocked

(20 April 1908–31 August 2002)
  • Barry Kernfeld


Hampton, Lionel Leo (20 April 1908–31 August 2002), jazz vibraphonist and bandleader, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of Charles Edward Hampton, a railroad worker and musician, and Gertrude Morgan. For a substantial portion of his career Hampton made himself out to be younger, giving his year of birth as 1913 or 1914. But in 1989, when he published his autobiography, he was proud of his age. Then he gave the correct birth year, 1908, which is confirmed by the Department of Public Records in Louisville. A further confusion emerged in the early 1990s, when citizens of Birmingham, Alabama, forged documents to convince Hampton that he was born there rather than in Louisville. This deception subsequently made its way into jazz literature as well....

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