Dave Oliphant

COY, EUGENE (?–1960s). Jazz drummer and pianist Eugene Coy was active professionally as early as 1927. As leader of the Happy Black Aces, Gene Coy worked out of Amarillo with his wife as the band's pianist. It has been reported that Ann Coy "played piano like a man." Between 1929 and 1933 the band included some of the most outstanding jazzmen of the Southwest, such as Ben Webster, Carl "Tatti" Smithqv, and Dick Wilson. Bassist Junior Raglin was with Coy from 1938 to 1941, after which he replaced Jimmy Blanton in the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Coy's band traveled fairly extensively, even venturing into Mexico and Canada. Headquartered in San Francisco in the early 1940s, the band toured the Pacific Northwest and dubbed themselves "Gene Coy and his Harlem Swing." Unfortunately, Coy did not record until 1949, long after the impact of his most talented groups had begun to fade. He died in California in the 1960s.

Albert McCarthy, Big Band Jazz (London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1974).

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Handbook of Texas Online, Dave Oliphant, "COY, EUGENE," accessed June 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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