A shadowy figure in jazz and blues history, Clifford Hayes was a violinist, but was more significant as a leader of recording sessions. He recorded with Sara Martin (1924), and often teamed up with banjoist Cal Smith in early jug bands including the Old Southern Jug Band, Clifford's Louisville Jug Band, the well-known Dixieland Jug Blowers (1926-1927), and Hayes' Louisville Stompers (1927-1929). One of the Dixieland Jug Blowers' sessions featured the great clarinetist Johnny Dodds, while pianist Earl Hines was a surprise star with the otherwise primitive Louisville Stompers (a jug-less group with a front line of Hayes' violin and Hense Grundy's trombone). Clifford Hayes' last recordings were in 1931, and all of his sessions (plus those of some other jug bands) are available on four RST CDs.
by Scott Yanow