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Jeannie and Jimmy Cheatham

Mar 18, 2021

Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham
Credit Discogs

Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #319 (March 21 at 8:00 p.m.)

The husband and wife duo of Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham have been working together since the mid-'50s and married since the late '50s.

Jeannie’s energetic, joyful vocals and his good-natured trombone riffs and accompaniment have been featured on a succession of fine Concord albums in the '80s and '90s. But their professional affiliation began after they met on-stage in Buffalo during the '50s. Jeannie Cheatham had performed in clubs, while Jimmy Cheatham had played in Broadway bands and on television, as well as with Bill Dixon, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Thad Jones, and Ornette Coleman. He'd even been Chico Hamilton's music director.

Jeannie, who studied piano as a child, later accompanied Dinah Washington, Al Hibbler, and Jimmy Witherspoon, among others. They attended the University of Wisconsin in the '70s and taught in the jazz program, then moved to San Diego in the late '70s.

While Jimmy taught at the University of California, Jeannie was president of the Lower California Jazz Society. The duo worked in clubs and organized weekly jam sessions. Jeannie appeared on a public television special with Sippie Wallace and Big Mama Thornton that was shown in 1983.

Concord signed the duo in the mid-'80s, and they've been recording ever since, working with both their regular band and such special guests as Charles McPherson, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and Red Callendar.

(provided by Allmusic)