- Howard Rye
(b Vicksburg, MS, July 8, 1905; d Natchez, MS, April 23, 1940). American bandleader, clarinetist, and saxophonist. After studying music in Chicago he formed his own quartet (1926). Later he led the Royal Creolians, which held many engagements in the Chicago area (to 1930) and was also resident at the Savoy Ballroom, New York (1929). In 1928–9 he made several recordings with the band, among them Buffalo Rhythm (1929, Bruns. 7072) and If you’re thinking of me (1929, Bruns. 4480). It toured the South and Midwest (1930s), where it became very popular, and by 1938 it comprised 16 musicians. In 1939 Barnes re-formed the band for a residency at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago. While on tour in 1940 he, eight of his sidemen, and the singer Juanita Avery were killed in a fire at the Rhythm Club, Natchez. The tragedy has been the subject of several blues recordings, including ...