While he will always be remembered as Count Basie, “Count” wasn’t always part of his name.
It was added when an announcer at the Reno Club in Kansas City joked that Basie’s first name, Bill, was too plain compared to his contemporaries “Duke” Ellington and Earl "Fatha" Hines.
The announcer then said he would refer to Basie as “Count” from then on. The name stuck, and Count Basie was born.
H. Johnson, the host of WABE’s “Jazz Classics” and “Blues Classics,” has this look at the rest of the band leader’s life in a special segment for “City Lights.”
Among the Basie classic tunes examined include "Every Day (I Have the Blues)," "April in Paris" and "One O'Clock Jump."