ELMER RADD was born April 3, 1909 to Sam and Sallie Radd. He was married twice, first to Vera Mae Johnson, and following her death he married Cordia Mady when he was 51. Elmer’s Cotton Club Band was famous throughout the Midwest, and they were in great demand. Here are a few articles about them:

From St. Louis Post Dispatch; Friday, August 5, 1983
In the years just after the war, Lexington’s many schools and seminaries earned it the nickname Athens of the West. Even up to the years before Prohibition, Lexington must have been rocking. Elmer Radd’s Cotton Club Orchestra held forth in the dance halls while the Goose Pond minstrels performed in the Grand Opera House. The speakeasies and saloons along the town’s notorious “Block 42” gave the men who worked in the town’s mines and factories places to spend their time and money.

From The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune; Tuesday, May 2,1 1935
Elmer Radd and his Harlem Blue Birds from Lexington will be at the Windmoor Gardens Thursday night, May 23. Speaking from experience this is one of the best colored bands in the state of Missouri. This band has been a sell out at the great Lexington night club for the last two years. This will be the last chance to dance to this band for some time, so don’t miss it.

From Moberly Monitor-Index; Tuesday, January 25, 1938
Winter Garden Hall
212 N. Clark St.
Moberly, Mo.
Music by Elmer Radd’s 10-piece Cotton Club Orchestra
Adm. 50 cents each

Elmer died December 6, 1976, and is buried at Forest Grove Cemetery.

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