[Dixielandjazz] Who is Claude Trenier?

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 19 17:15:54 PST 2003

John Farrell asked who Claude Trenier was after Kay Wade posted that Mr.
Trenier had passed away. Here is a VERY SHORT Bio. Claude also worked
with Louis Prima and Keely Smith in Las Vegas etc.
Very well known and highly regarded in USA cabaret circles, especially
Las Vegas. Broad musical talent having performed with musicians from
Barney Bigard to Charles Mingus.

Steve Barbone

Claude and Cliff Trenier, The Trenier Twins, as they were more commonly
known, were the heart of the group. They were born in Moblie, Alabama on
July 14th, 1919. Music was in their blood, being that their father had
been a horn player in the old street bands of New Orleans, and their
mother played the piano. So by the time Claude and Cliff headed to
Alabama State College in 1939, their older brother, Buddy was already
singing in clubs around Mobile. Claude and Cliff quickly got in good
with other musicians, such as sax player, Don Hill, and piano player,
Gene Gilbeaux. They were all part of the college band, The Alabama State
Collegians. But since Claude, Cliff and the others quickly found they
playing music was more fun than studying, the college kicked them out in
1941. But they also took the band with them. It wasn't long before the
draft put a crimp in their plans, but by 1944, Claude had got hired by
band leader Jimmy Lunceford, and a couple years later, during the
Christmas Holidays, Claude made his first recording, "I'm Gonna See My
Baby", and, "That Someone Must Be You" with the Jimmie Lunceford
Orchestra. Soon after, Lunceford also hired twin brother Cliff, and in
1945 the twins recorded together for the first time singing Lunceford's
"Buzz Buzz Buzz". After the war Cliff returned to Mobile, and Claude had
made the move to Los Angeles, which has been the Trenier home ever
since. He did some recordings with Barney Bigard and Charlie Mingus. In
1947, he had Cliff come to Los Angeles, along with Don Hill and Gene
Gilbeaux, added a drummer and bass player, and that was the birth of THE
TRENIER'S. But they were first billed as THE TRENIER TWINS & The Gene
Gilbeaux Quartet. Later it got shortened to just THE TRENIER TWINS. And
as they say.......the rest is history......

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