Drummers / Percussionists
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BIOGRAPHY

Sonny Payne

Sonny Payne, born May 4, 1926 in New York City, New York, was an American jazz/big band drummer, best known for his work (touring and recording) with Count Basie and Harry James.

Payne learned to play the drums from his father, jazz drummer and band leader, Chris Columbus, and (during his teenage years) studied with jazz drummer, Vic Berton.

Throughout his career, Payne worked with the likes of the Dud and Paul Bascomb band (1944), Hot Lips Page, Earl Bostic (1945–1947), Tiny Grimes (1947–1950), Lucille Dixon (1948), Erskine Hawkins' big band (1950–1953), Count Basie (1954–1965, 1973–1974), Illinois Jacquet (1976), Frank Sinatra (1965–1966), and Harry James (1966–1979).

Sonny Payne died of pneumonia in Los Angeles, CA on January 29, 1979; he was 52 years old.


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