- Herbert Hannahs (spelled Hannas in jazz discographies) played banjo with Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders behind Victoria Spivey in 1931.
Hannahs was born in Kansas (possibly at Horton) in 1903 and raised in Nebraska. The family appears to have been a poor farming family, scratching a living at various places on the plains.
For the 1930 census, he was enumerated as a "lodger" in Phillipsburg, Kansas, with a number of other musicians. It looks like they were a traveling band who happened to be there when the census taker called. (They were staying with one Bertha Henderson, the only other black person on the street, but she is not the same as the blues singer of that name).
The interesting thing about the census band is that it is comprised partly of Lester Young alumni. Arthur Bronson, a pianist (born Kansas, 1903) with whom Lester worked in 1928, is present, as is trumpet player Leonard "Deek" Phillips, who worked with Lester in Bronson's band and caught up with Lester later when Phillips was based in Washington, DC. Phillips was born in Minnesota in 1905 and was still living in 1983, when he recorded an interview for the Institute of Jazz Studies.
I think Bronson died in Denver in 1969. Hannahs died in San Diego in 1981.
There is an Otto Jones, born Minnesota in 1906, who seems too young to have been Jo Jones (with whom Hannahs recorded with Spivey), and who seems unknown to discography. Likewise John L. Stewart (aged 31 in 1930, and from Florida), and Samuel E. Allen (clearly not the pianist Sam C. Allen).
If anyone knows anything more about any of these men, I'd be interested to know. Thanks.
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