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Ernie Fields (1904-1997)

BY “Fields, Ernie.” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Ed. Dianna Everett. Vol 1. Print.

Ernie Fields and his band were the first African Americans to perform at the Cain’s Ballroom.
His band, The Royal Entertainers, was one of Tulsa’s most popular dance orchestras in the 1920s. During the Great Depression, Fields took his band on the road and they became one of the most popular ensembles in the Southwest among African Americans. He caught the attention of producer John Hammonds, who brought Fields to New York to record “T-Town Blues.” He cracked the Billboard Top 10 with 1959’s “In the Mood."

Fields is a member of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.