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Junior Raglin


Junior Raglin on Bass The answer to the trivia question of who replaced Jimmy Blanton in Duke Ellington's Orchestra, Junior Raglin was not up to Blanton's level (no one was at the time) but he was one of the first bassists favorably influenced by his predecessor. His first instrument was the guitar but Raglin was a bassist by the time he played with Eugene Coy's group in Oregon (1938-41). He actually joined Ellington's big band slightly before Blanton's premature departure (for a short period Duke had returned to using two bassists) and then he was officially the bassist in the big band from late 1941 until Nov. 1945 other than a brief period when he was in the Army. Raglin, who was on many recording dates with Ellington, led his own quartet shortly after leaving Duke and worked with the Dave Rivera trio, Ella Fitzgerald (1946) and Al Hibbler in addition to rejoining Duke a couple times (in 1946 and early in 1955). Unfortunately illness caused Junior Raglin to largely retire by the late 1940's and he died at the age of 38, never leading a recording session of his own.

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