Kid: Musicians and their cohorts nicknamed “Kid” in Louisiana

Musicians and their cohorts nicknamed “Kid” in New Orleans & Louisiana

[Johnny] Kid or Kid Chocolate Alcindor, tap dancer
He performed dance steps of Bojangles Robinson in the Palace Theatre revue in 1937, with New Orleans’ contralto and soubrette Blanche Thompson and the comedy team of Lollypop and Cream Puff. 

Kid Brown
A “famous parachuter” who owned a honky-tonk at cthe orner of Gravier & Franklin, with a piano and dance floor, near Louis Armstrong’s childhood home and where Armstrong first heard Sidney Bechet play clarinet.

Kid Twat Butler photo by Ralston Crawford 1951. Courtesy of Hogan Jazz Archives Tulane University, New Orleans.

[Joseph] Kid Twat Butler, bass
December 26, 1905 – June 19, 1982.. Born in Algiers neighborhood and a childhood friend of  Henry “Red” Allen, he began playing professionally with Raymond Brown’s band in Grand Isle. He also worked with  Nolan “Shine” Williams,  Sam Morgan’s Jazz Band, A. J. Piron, Sidney Desvigne, and Papa Celestin. 

During the 1960s Butler was a regular performer at Preservation Hall with Kid Thomas, Sweet Emma Barrett, and others. 

[Jimmy] Kid Clayton, trumpet 
Listen to him being interviewed, courtesy of Music Rising, Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans.

[George] Kid Sheik Colar (1908-1996), trumpet. 
His first mouth piece was a kazoo; played in Kid Rena’s marching band and Eureka Brass Band

Tulane Rising has two excellent interviews you can listen to.

July 20, 1958

& a 1959 interview.

 [Wesley] Kid Dimes
Had his own band; was killed in Baton Rouge, “a good trumpet player,” Harold Dejan said.

Kid Green
An ex-prize fighter who  ran a hotel at Rampart & Lafayette streets, Green was a friend of Louis Armstrong’s and would make available to him a room whenever he needed it for  entertaining. Armstrong recalled that he had “so much gold in his mouth they called him Klondike.”

 [Avery] Kid Howard, trumpet,
Cobojo called him “the Louis Armstrong of the South.” Also played drums early on with Harold & Leo Dejan.

Kid Punch Miller
Called Kid Punch by Kid Clayton; not to be confused with the much more famous trumpeter Punch Miller,  who played with Jack Carey before World War I, during which he played bugle and after it with Jelly Roll Morton, Fate Marable, and George Lewis.

[Ernest] Kid Moliere
Leo Dejan said he was “the son of old man Paul Moliere” and brother of drummer Paul Moliere, and had act in which he took his clarinet apart piece by piece down to the mouthpiece while still playing it.

[Edward] Kid Ory, trombone
Ory and his band, from LaPlace, “took New Orleans by storm” about 1907, said Welman Braud.
     Louis Armstrong’s first good gig was with him before Armstrong went to Chicago in 1922. Alvin Alcorn said he “didn’t have great range but a big tone.” John Casimir recalled that he and Johnny Dodds would play all day long for funerals and parades.

 [Louis] Kid Shots Madison, trumpet
William Ridgley said, “Shots is very good and sweet, and on ragtime he had a good touch. They always asked Shots to play the blues and “Careless Love.” also played with Papa Celestin.

Kid Rena

[Henry] Kid Rena (1898- 1949) trumpet, aka Little Turk
Harold Dejan said he was “the best,” and that he “always came out well” in musical battles; he was also  in waif’s home with Louis Armstrong,

[Thomas] Kid Reel
Played with a Dejan band from Reserve, La.

 [Thomas] Kid Valentine (1896 – 1987) trumpet
The New York Times called him “the last of the rough house trumpet players.

Kid Victor, trumpet
From Baton Rouge

[Eddie] Kid Wallace, comedian
“A fine comedian” who worked with the 1938  Palace Theatre Revue, with Lollypop and Cream Puff and the dance team of Boo & Zigaboo.

• • •


Alcorn, Alvin. Interview by Richard B. Allen & Marjorie T. Zander. New Orleans: Nov. 30, 1960 . Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Alexander, Adolphe “Tats.” Interview by William Russell & Harold Dejan. New Orleans: Mar 8, 1961. Nov. 30, 1960 . Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Armstrong, Louis. Statchmo: My Life in New Orleans. 1954. New York, Da Capo P, 1986.

Beaux, McNeal. Interview.  New Orleans: 24 Nov. 1958. Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Braud, Wellman. Interview by William Russell et al. New Orleans: 31 Mar. 1958. Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Casimir, John. Interview. New Orleans: 17 Jan. 1959. . Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Cobojo. “Out on the Limb.” Louisiana  Weekly 9 Dec. 1939: 6.

Davis, Uncle Dave. “Henry ‘Kid’ Rena.” Syncopated Times. June 2023. 20 June 2023.

Dejan, Harold. Interview by William Russell. New Orleans: Oct 14 1960. Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Kennedy, Al. Chord Changes on the Chalkboard: How Public School Teachers Shaped Jazz and the Music of New Orleans. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2002.

“Kid Thomas Valentine, Jazz Band Trumpeter.New York Times. 19 June 1987. 7 July 2023.

Ridgley, WIlliam. Interview by William Russell and Ralph Collins, New Orleans: June 2, 1959. Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans.


Alex Albright
July 7, 2023