Lionel Hampton began his musical career as a drummer, but the drums weren't how he would eventually distinguish himself. It was when he took up the vibraphone that he found his niche, becoming one of the most acclaimed jazz musicians of all time.
Vibraphonist Lionel Hampton performing at the 1979 North Sea Jazz Festival (Wikimedia Commons / Rene Speur)
Born April 20, 1908 – 104 years ago today – Hampton was one of the first jazz vibraphonists, and his cheery vibes are hard to resist. Here are a few of our favorites.
Flying Home (Hampton trivia fact: this song's title is also the epitaph on his gravestone)
Written by Linnea Crowther