Avery Parrish

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Avery Parrish (born January 24, 1917 in Birmingham, died December 1, 1959 in New York City) was a jazz pianist best remembered for his 1940 song of "After Hours", which he recorded with the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra.

Born in Birmingham, Parrish, like his older brother Curley, learned to play piano early. He and fellow Industrial High School student Sonny Blount (later known as "Sun Ra") became friends, playing duets together and challenging each other to write songs. He graduated from the Alabama State Teachers College (now Alabama State University) and there joined the Bama State Collegians in 1934, which evolved into the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra. He worked with the band during the height of its popularity while they were recording on the Bluebird label. He left the band in 1941 to move to California. While there he was injured and partially paralyzed in a bar fight, ending his playing career at the age of 24.

Parrish's composition, "After Hours", has become a standard and a recording of Ray Bryant's 1972 Montreux Jazz Festival performance is used as the theme music for the PRI program "Jazz After Hours". Parrish was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1979.


External links

  • After Hours performed by the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra on YouTube.com