Herschel Evans c. 1939
Background information Born March 9, 1909 Denton, Texas, U.S. Died February 9, 1939 (aged 29) New York City Genres Jazz Musician Instruments Tenor saxophone
Herschel " Tex" Evans (9 March 1909 - 9 February 1939) [a]    was an American  tenor saxophonist who worked in the Count Basie Orchestra. He also worked with  Lionel Hampton and Buck Clayton. He is also known for starting his cousin  Joe McQueen's interest in the saxophone.
Life and career
Evans was born in
Denton, Texas, but spent some of his childhood in  Kansas City, Kansas, where his cousin Eddie Durham was a trombonist and guitarist. Durham persuaded him to switch from alto to tenor saxophone, the instrument that ultimately established Evans's reputation. After perfecting his craft in the jam sessions held in the jazz district between Twelfth and Eighteenth streets in Kansas City, Evans returned to Texas in the 1920s and joined the Troy Floyd orchestra in San Antonio in 1929. He stayed with this territory band until it dispersed in 1932. Evans performed for a time with Lionel Hampton and Buck Clayton in Los Angeles, and in the mid-1930s returned to Kansas City to become a featured soloist in Count Basie's big band.
For the next three years Evans's prominence as a tenor saxophonist was at its peak, and he participated in musical duels with fellow band member
Lester Young. Count Basie's "One O'Clock Jump" featured the contrasting styles of the two musicians and brought to each the praise of both critics and the general public. Evans's greatest single success was his featured solo on Basie's hit "Blue and Sentimental."
Evans also made records with jazz musicians such as
Harry James, Teddy Wilson, and Lionel Hampton. Evans has been credited with influencing fellow tenorist Buddy Tate -- who, in 1939, came from the Nat Towles band in Omaha to replace Evans in the Basie band when he died He is also credited for influencing  Illinois Jacquet and Arnett Cobb.    Although not a prolific composer, Evans wrote a number of well known pieces, including "Texas Shuffle" and "Doggin' Around."  
Evans was a member of the
Basie Orchestra from September 1936 until his death.
Evans became ill while playing with Basie at the
Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., sometime during the week from January 13 to January 19. Evans didn't feel well enough to make the Basie's
session with Decca on February 3, 1939; Chu Berry substitutes.  Evans collapsed while performing a one-nighter on February 6, 1939, with the Basie band at the Crystal Ballroom in
Hartford, Connecticut; he was rushed to Wadsworth Hospital in New York City at 629 West 185th Street.  Evans died February 9, 1939, at the age of 29 of
heart disease in New York City while the Basie band was playing a one-nighter in Toledo, Ohio. Evans' body was transferred to Los Angeles and interred February 14, 1939, St. Valentine's Day, at Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery.  
Basie's recording session in New York with Decca on January 5, 1939, was Evans' final recording.
Count Basie And His Orchestra, Decca 2249
Buck Clayton, Ed Lewis, Shad Collins, Harry Edison (trumpets); Dicky Wells, Dan Minor, Benny Morton (trombones); Earle Warren (alto sax); Herschel Evans, Lester Young (tenor saxes); Jack Washington (alto and bari sax); Count Basie (piano); Freddie Green (guitar); Walter Page (bass); Jo Jones (drums); Helen Humes (vocals) Both numbers were arranged by
Jimmy Mundy and Helen Humes sang on both Recorded in New York, January 5, 1939
My Heart Belongs to Daddy"; OCLC 159936240, 44142977 65852-A " Sing for Your Supper"; OCLC 81828421
Count Basie Orchestra in Washington DC in 1941
Evans was a member of the following orchestras:
 Smith Brothers Orchestra
Trent's Number Two -- Evans performed with TNT in 1927  St. Louis Merrymakers -- Evans performed when them around 1928
Terrence Holder George Corley
Troy Floyd (1901-1953) and His Shadowland Orchestra,
San Antonio -- Evans performed with Floyd from 1929 to 1932   Lee Palmer
Mamie Smith (1883-1946) Durham Brothers Orchestra Joseph Durham, Jr. (brother), director, double bass, and tuba
Earl Durham (brother)
Roosevelt Durham (brother)
Eddie Durham (1906-1987) (brother) Myrtle Durham (sister), piano
Allen Durham (cousin), trombone
Clyde Durham (cousin) Ed Bailey Orchestra
(né Charles Richard Echols; 1901-1957)
Bennie Moten -- Evans performed with Moten from 1933 to 1935
Lionel Hampton -- Evans performed for stints with Hampton in 1936
Buck Clayton -- Evans performed for stints with Clayton in 1936 Count Basie -- Evans performed with Basie from 1937 until his death
Selected discography and sessionography
Compilation Original sessions Troy Floyd and His Shadowland Orchestra Recorded in San Antonio, Texas, June 21, 1929
402696-B: "Dreamland Blues," part 1 (pt 1);
OCLC 8175844 402697-B: "Dreamland Blues," part 2 (pt 2); OCLC 8193236 Recorded in Chicago, September 13, 1935
90323-A: "Joe Louis Chant"
90324-A: "Baby O'Mine"
Buck Clayton, Joe Keyes, Carl Smith (trumpets); George Hunt, Dan Minor (trombones); Caughey Roberts (alto saxes); Herschel Evans, Lester Young (tenor saxes); Jack Washington (baritone sax); Count Basie (piano); Claude Williams (guitar); Walter Page (bass); Jo Jones (drums); Jimmy Rushing (vocals) Recorded in New York, January 21, 1937
"Honeysuckle Rose", Decca 1141; OCLC 28939085 61543-A:
"Pennies From Heaven", Decca 1121, (Swi)M-39027, Br (E)02379, 80163, 61544-A: "Swingin' at the Daisy Chain,"
Decca 1121 61545-A: "Roseland Shuffle," Decca 1141; OCLC 28939085
Claude Williams (guitar, violin 1); Leslie Williams (master of ceremonies) Radio broadcast, live "The Chatterbox",
William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 8, 1937
"Lady Be Good
"St. Louis Blues" "
Moten Swing" (theme and closing) "Shoe Shine Swing" ("Roseland Shuffle")
" Moten Swing" (theme and close)
Selected compositions Words and music by
Edgar Battle and Herschel Evans Copyright September 19, 1938
Class E (musical composition, unpublished) 177494
Lewis Music Publishing Co., New York [i] Words and music by
Edgar Battle and Herschel Evans 1st copy October 17, 1938
Class E (musical composition, unpublished) 179121
Lewis Music Publishing Co., New York [ii]
Edgar Battle sued Lewis Publishing Company in 1952 for failing to adequately promote songs that he published with them.
^ A 1973 source,
Biographical Dictionary of American Music, states that Evans was born in Denton, Texas. But a 1940 source, by Earl J. Morris as published in the , states that he was born in Pittsburgh Courier Temple, Texas (see inline citations, below).
Biographical Dictionary of American Music, by Charles Eugene Claghorn (1911-2005), West Nyack, New York: Parker Publishing Company, Inc. (1973); OCLC 609781
^ Primary source: Index to New York City Deaths 1862-1948, (indices prepared by the Italian Genealogical Group ( ) and the German Genealogy Group ( www .italiangen .org ) www .germangenealogygroup .com
^ a b c
"Evans, Herschel," ( ) (retrieved December 14, 2011) www .thedeadrockstarsclub .com
^ "Evans, Herschel,"
Biographical Dictionary of American Music, by Charles Eugene Claghorn (1911-2005), Parker Publishing Company, Inc. (1973); OCLC 609781
^ "Evans, Herschel,"
Biographical Dictionary of Jazz, by Charles Eugene Claghorn (1911-2005), Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall (1982), pps. 102-103; OCLC 8626853
"Titans of the Tough Toned Texas Tenor," by John Lilley, RVA News ( ), www .rvanews .com Richmond, Virginia, Scott Pharr, editor and website administrator, August 22, 2011 (retrieved January 23, 2015)
^ a b c "Grand Town Day and Night" (column), by Earl J. Morris (born 1906), Pittsburgh Courier
by Ben Ratliff, Buddy Tate, 87, Saxophonist for Basie's Band, , February 13, 2001 New York Times
"Evans, Herschel," by David Minor, , Handbook of Texas Online Texas State Historical Association (retrieved January 22, 2015)
Black Beauty, White Heat: A Pictorial History of Classic Jazz, 1920-1950, by Frank Driggs and Harris Lewine, New York: William Morrow and Company (1982); OCLC 7462363
^ The Encyclopedia of Jazz, by Leonard Geoffrey Feather
Jazz Style in Kansas City and the Southwest, by Ross Russell, Berkeley: University of California Press (1971); OCLC 205031
The 101 Best Jazz Albums: A History of Jazz on Records, by Leonard Lyons, New York: William Morrow and Company (1980); OCLC 6649867
^ a b c
by Count Basie: Swingin' the Blues, 1936-1950, Ken Vail (de) (né Kenneth G. Vail; 1939-2013), Scarecrow Press (2003), pps. 25-26; OCLC 53083840
^ a b c [The Night People: The Jazz Life of Dicky Wells,] by Dicky Wells, as told to Stanley Dance
^ "Discography: Troy Floyd and His Shadowland Orchestra," The Red Hot Jazz Archive, ( ), created by Scott Alexander (retrieved January 22, 2015); www .redhotjazz .com OCLC 40850362, 46975457
Note: Apparently, Alexander, a bassist living in Toronto, ceased maintaining the
website years ago and it has been unattended to date (see
(retrieved January 22, 2015)
"Battle-Lewis Case to Go Before N.Y. Court," , November 22, 1952, pg. 24 (last column, bottom) Billboard