Lovie Austin

Lovie Austin

Real Name:
Cora Calhoun
Born: 19th September 1887, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.
Died: 10th July 1972, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

American female pianist, session musician, composer, arranger and bandleader.

Austin studied music at college and university in Nashville, Tennessee and moved to perform in Chicago in 1923. She was the 'life n' soul' of her vaudeville bands when seated at the piano stool, creating a big impression on a pre-teen Mary Lou Williams. As Williams' career took off with the TOBA* circuit shows, so had Austin's. Austin both wrote and arranged many numbers, often while performing at the same time, and backed and recorded with other female artists such as Ma Rainey, Ethel Waters, Ida Cox and Alberta Hunter.

During the early 1920s Austin also fronted her own band, the "Blues Serenaders" and also sessioned for Paramount. Artists who sessioned in Austin's 'Serenaders' line-ups at recordings included Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds, Tommy Ladnier, Jimmie Noone and Natty Dominique.

Later in her career Austin was musical director of TOBA shows in Chicago's jazz hot-spot, The Monogram Theater at 3453 South State Street. She remained there for twenty years then, after the war, became the pianist at Penthouse Studios for Jimmy Payne's Dancing School.

*TOBA is an acronym for the "Theater Owners' Booking Association".
In Groups:


Lovie Austin Discography Tracks


Lovie Austin 1924-1926 (Comp) Classics (11) France 1994 Sell This Version
93517 Lovie Austin & Blues Serenaders* With Tom Ladnier* & Johnny Dodds Lovie Austin & Blues Serenaders* With Tom Ladnier* & Johnny Dodds - 1924-1926(LP, Comp) Les Disques Pierre Cardin 93517 France Unknown Sell This Version