"Going Back to T-Town: The Ernie Fields Territory Big Band"
"This perceptive book is an insightful account, appealing to the aficionado and scholar alike." -- Todd Wright, Director of Jazz Studies, Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University
Our gues is Carmen Fields, an Emmy Award-winning broadcast news journalist based in Boston, who joins us to discuss her new book. That book is a biography of her father, Ernie Fields (1904-1997), a celebrated trombonist, pianist, arranger, and bandleader who enjoyed a long and far-flung career in music; his professional career ran from the 1920s into the 1960s. The book also traces the development of Ernie Fields and His Royal Entertainers, which toured widely, recorded often, was the first African-American band ever to play the landmark Cain's Ballroom, was invited to record in New York City by legendary A&R man John Hammond, and eventually relocated to Los Angeles. It's the story of an influential, Tulsa-based "territory band" which moved, over the decades, from Depression Era big band and swing music into 1950s R&B and pop/rock. As noted by Wil Haygood (the author of "Colorization"): "In piecing together her father's musical journey, Carmen Fields highlights an important untold story, but also paints a fuller picture of the strength that emanated from the much-talked-about Tulsa, Oklahoma, of 20th-century America."