Kid Sheik Plays Blues and Standards
is an album by George "Kid Sheik
" Colar, released ~1970
George Colar, better known as Kid Sheik or Kid Sheik Cola, (15 September 1908 - 7 November 1996) was a New Orleans jazz trumpeter. He is most associated with Dixieland jazz and was a long-term performer with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He got his nickname from his chic style of dress, with an affinity for wearing suits as a teenager.
In 1943, Colar began training at a US Army Air Corps music school, where he supplemented his experiential knowledge and innate talent with extensive formal training. After his military discharge, Colar returned to New Orleans in 1945 and formed a band of his own. He was also a stand-in for the Eureka Brass Band. A gig with the respected musician/arranger George Lewis and his band came in 1949 at the New Orleans venue Manny’s Tavern, and he replaced Eddie Richardson in the Eureka Brass Band, becoming a permanent member of the group in 1952.
Beginning in the 1960s, Kid Sheik performed widely with his own groups, including the Swingsters and the Storyville Ramblers, whose members included Captain John Handy and Cié Frazier. Kid Sheik would go on a memorable tour of England with British-born jazz drummer Barry Martyn in 1963. He would go on many more tours in the coming years, including one of Europe in 1966 with Captain John Handy.
Although essentially self-taught, he was a protege of the late great “Wooden Joe” Nicholas, who had befriended him as a youth. Kid Sheik has performed with a variety of other jazz legends, ranging from Harold Dejan and his Olympia Brass Band to hot jazz titan Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. It is the legacy of Preservation Hall, however, for which he is probably most famous. Kid Sheik’s band began jamming there for a drop-in audience in the 1950s, when it was an art gallery owned by jazz buff Larry Borenstein. This evolved into the Preservation Hall we know today, where his band continues to play the same kind of music it has played for the last 66 years (four of its seven members are over 80 years old).
Jazz band playing at Preservation Hall, New Orleans, 1965, Kid Sheik Colar on trumpet:
In 1968 he appeared in the Frank DeCola film The Cradle Is Rocking
, a documentary about New Orleans jazz.
In 1982 Kid Sheik married Sadie Goodson, a gifted pianist and childhood sweetheart who was the sister of fellow Preservation Hall musician Billie Pierce. When the couple wed, both were octogenarians. Later, with Goodson, Cola would record the 1986 album My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time.
The 1990 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival poster featured George “Kid Sheik” Colar, at age 81.