Armand Piron

Armand Piron was the leader of one of the most successful and regularly working dance bands in New Orleans in the 1920’s. His father, an orchestra leader, gave him extensive musical training. He began playing professionally at the age of 16 in 1904. Piron became a bandleader within four years. In 1912, he assumed the leadership of the highly-rated Olympia Orchestra after its former leader Freddie Keppard died. The band soon included King Oliver as well as Sidney Bechet. Piron, Clarence Williams and Oscar “Papa” Celestin formed a publishing house in 1915. He continued to lead bands while also working with them. Piron became famous for his composition of “I Wish That I Could Shimmy like My Sister Kate”. Louis Armstrong claimed that he sold the song to Piron at a very low price and refused to play “Sister Kate” throughout his career. Since 1918, Piron’s New Orleans Orchestra has been working regularly in his home town. They made their first recordings in New York in 1923, when they were engaged. The octet’s main sidemen included trumpeter Peter Bocage, trombonist John Lindsay, and clarinetist Lorenzo Tio Jr. They recorded a variety of dance music that combines polite and lyrical songs with hints and hot jazz. Strangely, Piron did not record his theme song “The Purple Rose Of Cairo.” Piron recorded two songs as a backing singer for Lela Borden after his return to New Orleans. His group also recorded two final selections in 1925. From allmusic

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