Ramey, Gene [Eugene Glasco] (Austin, TX, 4 April 1913 - Austin, 8 Dec 1984)


Double bass player


After performing on trumpet in his college band he took up sousaphone, which he played professionally for some years. He moved to Kansas City in 1932 and changed to double bass, taking lessons from Walter Page. In the early 1930s he led his own band and performed with other local groups. From 1938 to 1943 he worked with Jay McShann. When the latter joined the army Ramey traveled to New York, where he worked as a freelance with many of the most important musicians, including Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Miles Davis, and Lester Young. In 1954 he played with Art Blakey. Thereafter he continued to perform and record extensively on a freelance basis with Buck Clayton (including tours of Europe, 1959, 1961), Muggsy Spanier (1962), and Teddy Wilson (1963), as well as playing on occasions with McShann (1969, 1979). He returned to Texas in 1976 and continued to work regularly into the early 1980s. Ramey's playing was indebted to Page and the rhythmic propulsiveness of the Kansas City style.


The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988