Boze, Calvin B. (1916–1970)

By: Michael Reaves

Type: Biography

Published: November 27, 2006

Updated: October 26, 2015

Calvin Boze, rhythm-and-blues musician, was born in Trinity County, Texas, on October 15, 1916, the son of Calvin Boze, Sr., a day laborer, and Sarah (Taylor) Boze. The younger Calvin Boze is best known as a formative member of the rhythm-and-blues scene in Los Angeles during the early 1950s. In the mid-1930s in Houston he was a trumpet leader in the Wheatley High band that included such future musical luminaries as Illinois and Russell Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, Tom Archia, and Richard Dell.

Boze attended college at Prairie View A&M and was a member of the Prairie View Collegians band. By the 1940s he had become a vocalist for the Southwestern Territory Band of Marvin Johnson. He was later a trumpeter for the Milton Larkin Orchestra. During this period he developed his noted vocal style, patterned after Louis Jordan. He served as a private in the United States Army during World War II.

By 1949 Boze was in Los Angeles and recording for Aladdin Records. His songs have been described as solid, jive-talking rhythm-and-blues. His best-known numbers are "Safronia B" and "Angel City Blues." He also wrote "Texas Blues" and "Hot Lips and Seven Kisses" for fellow Aladdin artist Charles Brown. Starting in January 1950 Boze formed his own group, the Calvin Boze Combo, and had an extended gig at Georgia's Playroom in Los Angeles. By April 1950 Boze's band, rechristened the Calvin Boze All-Stars, was touring the West Coast with the Ravens. In summer 1950 they began a tour of the East Coast, including an appearance at the Apollo Theater.

Boze returned to Los Angeles to record more songs with Aladdin in 1952, including "Looped," which did well on the rhythm-and-blues charts. For unknown reasons, in 1953 Boze completely and permanently dropped out of the music scene. He died in Los Angeles on June 18, 1970, and was buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Colin Larkin, ed., The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (3d ed., New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 1998). "Remembering Calvin Boze" (, accessed January 30, 2008.

  • Music
  • Genres (Blues)
  • Genres (Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues, and Rockabilly)
  • Peoples
  • African Americans

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Michael Reaves, “Boze, Calvin B.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 21, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 27, 2006
October 26, 2015

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