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The Arts Foundation Of Olde Towne is a neighborhood based, Arts & Humanities incubator that serves to host and produce projects that are about, or initiated by residents from the Near East Area of the City Of Columbus, Ohio.

James Jimmy Allen

James Jimmy Allen
Instrument: saxophone
Description: It has been said that of all the great players engaged in vicious cutting sessions, no one ever outplayed Allen

Allen was born in Huntington, Virginia in 1915. When he was a child, Allen's parents noticed that he had become quite proficient on a little tin whistle that he had so they bought him a saxophone and enrolled him in the J. Lewis Good Music Conservatory. He studied music all through his school years. Allen came to Columbus in 1943 after leaving the Fletcher Henderson Band and worked with Cal Greer, Earl Hood, Percy Lowery, "Raleigh" Randolph then formed his own combo. In addition to playing music, Allen owned the Downbeat Club which was located in the upstairs of the 589 Musical Arts Society building on Garfield Ave. for a period of time where he promoted late night/early morning jam sessions. Allen moved to Los Angeles in 1958 and worked in the Lex Golden Band at the Ambassador Hotel and the Roy Porter Group. He recorded for a number of groups and perfomed in the following motion pictures: Darling Lili, Guide For A Married Man, Hello Dolly, Sparkle and Star. Allen was working for Disneyland in Anaheim, California. when he was offered a job conducting at Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida, "I accepted the job and became a conductor," says Allen.

"Ol Boss' was even more influecial to me than playing with Fletcher Henderson, he taught me things that I have used throughout my life, I consider him to be one of the finest individuals I have ever worked with."

quoted by: William "Jimmy" Allen

"Rudy Johnson came to visit me in California, he brought his instruments right into my house and played, I guess I somewhat inspierd him,"

William "Jimmy" Allen

Pictured L-R: Jimmy Allen - saxophone, Wyman Hawkins, Wendell Hawkins, Bill Jones
From the collection of: Jimmy Allen

For a glossy print of this image refer to ID# ARC13-42

©2000 A.F.O.O.T.

James Jimmy Allen

For a glossy print of this image refer to ID# ARC17-12

©2000 A.F.O.O.T.