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William Frank Newton (Frankie Newton) (January 4, 1906 – March 11, 1954) was a trumpeter from Emory, Virginia. He played in several New York bands in the 1920s and 1930s, including bands led by Sam Wooding, Chick Webb, Charlie Barnet, Andy Kirk and Charlie "Fess" Johnson. In the 1940s he played with bands led by Lucky Millinder and Pete Brown. He played in clubs in New York and Boston, with musicians such as pianist James P. Johnson, drummer Sid Catlett and clarinetist Edmond Hall.

He accompanied Bessie Smith on her final recordings (November 24, 1933), Maxine Sullivan on 'Loch Lomond', and Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit' session (Café Society, 1939).

Personal life

Politically, Newton was known to be a communist. (As an homage, historian Eric Hobsbawn has written jazz criticism for the New Statesmen under the pen name "Francis Newton".)


  • "The Search For Frankie Newton" by Jennifer Wagner, in "The Historical Society of Washington County", Virginia Bulletin, Series II, No 39a, 2002.


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