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Jimmy Yancey
Birth name James Edwards Yancey
Born (1898-02-20)February 20, 1898
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Origin Chicago
Died September 17, 1951(1951-09-17) (aged 53)
Genres Boogie-woogie
Instruments Piano
Years active 1939–1950
Labels Atlantic
Associated acts Jimmy and Mama Yancey

James Edwards "Jimmy" Yancey (February 20, 1898 - September 17, 1951) was an American pianist who was famous for his boogie woogie playing.


Yancey was born in Chicago in 1895 or 1898. His older brother Alonzo Yancey was also a pianist ; their father was a guitarist. Yancey started his career as a singer in traveling shows. He was a well known pianist by 1915, and influenced younger musicians, such as Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons.

Most of his records were solo piano, but later in his career he also recorded with vocals by his wife, Estelle Yancey, under the name 'Jimmy and Mama Yancey'. They recorded the first album which was ever recorded by the famous label Atlantic Records. Throughout his life, Yancey kept a job as groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox.

Yancey died of a stroke in Chicago on September 17, 1951. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

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