Minor, Dan [Slamfoot] (1909–1982)

By: Alex Daboub

Type: Biography

Published: December 5, 2006

Updated: August 5, 2015

Dan "Slamfoot" Minor, jazz trombonist, was born in Dallas on August 10, 1909. He took part in the formative period of the Kansas City jazz era of the late 1920s and early 1930s. Thereafter, in the later 1930s and early 1940s, he played with many significant musicians, including Count Basie, Cab Calloway, and Mercer Ellington.

Minor began his musical career in 1926 playing for a local church orchestra; later he joined the Blue Moon Chasers, a band that was active in and around Dallas. His first major professional work came with Walter Page's Blue Devils, with whom he stayed from 1927 to 1929. He then joined a Texas band called the Blues Syncopaters, led by Ben Smith. In 1930–31 he worked with Earl Dykes, Gene Coy's Black Aces (from Amarillo), Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders, and the Dallas orchestra of Alphonso Trent. In 1931 Minor joined the Bennie Moten band.

When Count Basie formed his own band after Moten's death in 1934, Minor became a member of that first Basie unit. He remained with the Count from 1936 to 1941. While with Basie, he was included in the recordings of "Gone with 'What' Wind?" (1940) and "You Can't Run Around" (1940), among many others. From 1941 to 1944 he was with the Buddy Johnson band. He also played with Cab Calloway during 1942. In 1945 Minor worked with Mercer Ellington, and at different times he also played and recorded with Lucky Millinder and Willie Bryant. After the 1940s he played freelance. He performed occasionally during the 1960s. Minor was not regarded primarily as a soloist, but rather as a vital section player who rarely took solos. He died in New York on April 11, 1982.

John Chilton, Who's Who of Jazz: From Storyville to Swingstreet (New York: Da Capo Press, 1985). Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler, The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). Raymond Horricks, Count Basie and His Orchestra: Its Music and Its Musicians (London: Jazz Book Club, 1958). Barry Kernfeld, ed., The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (London: Macmillan, 1988). Ross Russell, Jazz Style in Kansas City and the Southwest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971).


  • Music
  • Genres (Jazz)
  • Peoples
  • African Americans


  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

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

Alex Daboub, “Minor, Dan [Slamfoot],” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 27, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/minor-dan-slamfoot.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 5, 2006
August 5, 2015

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