March 18, 2007

Fort Smith (Sebastian County) native Alphonso Trent, a jazz pianist who studied music at Shorter College in Little Rock (Pulaski County), led a band in the 1920s that became one of the most respected of the pre-swing era. In 1923, during the days of segregation, his group became the first all-black band to play a prominent white hotel, the Adolphus in Dallas, Texas, and the first to be broadcast over regional radio. Shown here is an advertisement featuring the band.

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