Andy Kirk

There are three known artists with this name. Andrew Dewey Kirk, the band leader from 1930's/40's; Andy Kirk, a contemporary ambient/electronica musician; and Andy Kirk, a contemporary Christian musician. 1) Andrew Dewey Kirk (May 28, 1898 in Newport, Kentucky – December 11, 1992 in New York City) was a jazz bass saxophonist and tubist best known as a bandleader. He started his musical career playing with George Morrison's band, but then went on to join Terrence Holder's Dark Clouds of Joy. In 1929 he was elected leader after Holder departed. Renaming themselves Twelve Clouds of Joy they set up in the Pla-Mor Ballroom on the junction of 32nd and Main in Kansas City and made their first recording for Brunswick Records that same year. Mary Lou Williams came in as pianist at the last moment, but she impressed Brunswick's Dave Kapp, so she became a regular member of the band. The pianist she replaced, Marion Jackson, did not take well to this but otherwise Kirk's band would be fairly stable with the incorporation of Williams. Many of its members later became known in their own right including: Buddy Tate (tenor saxophone), Claude Williams (violin), Pha Terrell (vocals) and Mary Lou's then husband, John Williams, Dick Wilson, Floyd Smith, Don Byas, Shorty Baker, Howard McGhee, Jimmy Forrest, Fats Navarro, and (briefly) Charlie Parker. The band was smaller than most swing bands of the time, which had advantages and disadvantages, one of which was that the loss of individuals co...

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