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Lucky Millinder

Lucius Venable Lucky Millinder (August 8, 1910 – September 28, 1966) was an American rhythm and blues and swing bandleader.
Lucky Millinder – The Life and Legacy of a Jazz Bandleader
If you are a fan of swing, jazz, or big band music, you have likely heard the name Lucky Millinder. Born in 1910 in Anniston, Alabama, Millinder was a talented musician and bandleader who made a significant impact on the music world during his career. From his beginnings playing in popular bands of the 1930s and 40s to his groundbreaking work in integrating R&B and jazz, Millinder’s music remains a testament to his enduring influence.
Millinder began his music career playing trumpet with various bands, including Fletcher Henderson, who was one of the most influential bandleaders of the era. From there, he went on to play with other popular bands, such as Benny Carter’s and Count Basie’s outfits. However, it wasn’t until Millinder joined the Lucky Millinder Orchestra that he struck gold. His band quickly rose to fame, thanks in large part to Millinder’s natural charisma and ability to engage his audiences. Known for his flamboyant style and theatrical performances, Millinder became a beloved figure in the music scene.
As a bandleader, Millinder was a pioneer in the integration of R&B and jazz. He brought together musicians of various races and backgrounds, including vocalists such as Wynonie Harris and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Together, they created a distinctly new sound that appealed to both black and white audiences. Some of Millinder’s most famous songs include Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well, A Little Bird Told Me, and Shorty's Got to Go.
One of the highlights of Millinder’s career was his appearance in the 1943 film Stormy Weather, alongside notable performers such as Lena Horne and Cab Calloway. In the film, he performed his hit song Ride, Red, Ride, which remains a classic to this day. Millinder’s music continued to evolve and innovate throughout the 1940s and beyond, with his focus on fusing different styles setting the stage for the rise of jazz and R&B.
Despite his successes, Millinder also faced criticism for his attempts at integration, as well as resistance from some segments of the industry. However, his impact on the music world remains undeniable. His work paved the way for future artists to create new and exciting sounds, and his legacy lives on through his music.
Lucky Millinder, with his charisma and talent, made an indelible mark on the music world. Through his pioneering work in blending jazz and R&B, he paved the way for future artists and helped to break down barriers. Though his life was not without challenges and pushback, his music endures as a testament to his influence. Lucky Millinder may not be a household name today, but his impact on music remains as strong as ever.


1 - Apollo Jump
2 - Shipyard Social Function
3 - Shorty's Got To Go
4 - Clap Your Hands
5 - Savoy
6 - Little John Special
7 - Oh Babe
8 - Big Fat Mama
9 - Bongo Boogie
10 - Sweet Slumber
11 - Mason Flyer
12 - Silent George
13 - Let It Roll
14 - Heavy Sugar
15 - Rock Me
16 - Hurry, Hurry
17 - Berserk Boogie
18 - Shout Sister Shout
19 - Are You Ready?
20 - Chew Tobacco Rag
21 - When The Lights Go On Again (all Over The World)
22 - I'm Waiting Just For You
1996: Back Beats