Just You, Just Me

Claude Hopkins and his Orchestra


Born in Alexandria, Virginia on August 24, 1903, Claude Hopkins was a stride pianist who left home in 1924 at the age of twenty one to tour with the “Wilbur Sweatman Orchestra”, but remained for less than a year.

The following year he caught a break when he was hired as the musical director of “The Revue Negre” starred Josephine Baker and departed for Europe.

After his return to the U.S. in 1927 he toured with the “Ginger Snaps Revue” for a period before heading to New York and assuming control of Charlie Skeets’ band.

The group grew to become a big success in Harlem with famous personnel including Jabbo Smith, Edmond Hall, and Vic Dickenson and would enjoy long residencies at the Cotton Club, the Roseland, and the Savoy.

After going leaving on tour in 1937 with and achieving even greater acclaim Hopkins disbanded the group in 1940 and began working outside of jazz as an arranger for CBS.

Claude Hopkins would remained in New York playing clubs and recording, working as a side man with various Dixieland bands for the rest of his life.

Click here to Support 30sJazz