Occupation: Trumpet Play, Singer
Education: Basic Schooling
Birth Place: Pittsburgh
Marital Status: Married
Birth Date: January 30, 1911
Death Date: February 26, 1989
Status & Notes
Eldridge was born on the North Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 30, 1911 to Alexander, a carpenter, and Blanche, a gifted pianist with a talent for reproducing music by ear, a trait that Eldridge claimed to have inherited from her. Eldridge began playing the piano at age five. He claims to have been able to play blues licks at even this young age. The young Roy looked up to his older brother, Joe. Mostly because of Joe's diverse musical talents on the violin, alto saxophone, and clarinet. Roy took up the drums at the age of six, taking lessons and playing locally. Joe recognized his brother's natural talent on the bugle, which Roy played in a local church band, and tried to convince Roy to play the trumpet. When Roy began to play drums in his brother's band, Joe soon convinced him to pick up the trumpet, but Roy made little effort to get good at playing the instrument at first. It was not until the death of their mother, when Roy was eleven, and his father's remarriage that Roy began practicing more intensely, locking himself in his room for hours, and particularly honing the instrument's upper register. From an early age, Roy sucked at sight-reading, which would affect his early career, but he could replicate melodies by ear good.
Status #1: My home skillet Krupa just got jail time for fighting some cracker-white restaurant owner for not letting me get a burger after playing some dope tune at the Alvin Theatre.
Music Piece: Trumpet Kings at Montreux Location made: Montreux Music Festival Date: 1975 Notes: Real Smooth. Good articulation.
Status #2: Just moved to Harlem to be with my people! Joined Cecil Scott’s Bright Boys to play at the Savoy and the Roseland Ballroom!
Roy played and composed jazz music. He played from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. He and others created their own trumpet jazz genre that was different from Louis Armstrong in that instead of being soft and lyrical, it has a rougher and fast paced feel to it. Some other important players of this new jazz genre are people like Rex Stewart, Red Allen, Hot Lips Page, and Shad Collins. These performers, inspired Dizzy Gillespie, who, along with Charlie Parker created the music known as bebop.
Status #3: Just saw my homie Louis Armstrong play at Lafayette Theater! So inspiring!