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Fletcher Henderson, Charlie Christian, Cootie Williams with Goodman in 1939-40; Joe Sullivan's mixed sextet at Cafe" Society in Greenwich Village in late 1939; June Richmond's alliance with the Jimmy Dorsey band; Flip Phillips' appearance as clarinetist with Frankie Newton at Kelly's Stable in 1940; then, in 1941, the four months spent by Lena Home as Charlie Earner's vocalist, Hot Lips Page's several months on trumpet with Artie Shaw, and the beginning of Roy Eldridge's long association with Gene Krapa's big band.
It took considerably more courage for a Negro bandleader to hire a white sideman, and for a white musician thus to expose himself to racial problems in reverse. Partly as a result of the wartime shortage of musicians, the walls crumbled early in the 1940s, in the West Coast band of Benny Carter, and in the Eastern band of Lucky Millinder. Carter's sidemen as early as 1943-4 included Joe Albany, Hal Schaefer and, briefly, Buddy Rich. Among Millinder's first white sidemen were Freddie Zito, Leon Merrian and Roy Harte.
"I toured all over with this band—even in the deep South," Millinder recalls. "At one point I had nine white and eight colored musicians. Of course, everybody in the band understood that we were out to make money, not trying to make history. When the white musicians would reach a town, they would avoid walking around with their instruments, in case the question came up whose band they were with, which could have led to trouble.
"Usually the evening was half over before anybody noticed anything, and then it was too late for them to do much about it. In some towns I knew the Chief of Police, which helped. Often the musicians would have to pass for Puerto Ricans. I remember one night, when I had a drummer who looked unmis­takably Jewish, the cop kept asking questions while the band was playing. After the set he walked up and looked the drummer straight in the eye for quite a while. Then he said, 'Yeh, he's a nigger all right,' and walked away satisfied. We never had a major incident, though we came pretty close a couple of times." In many of the Southern towns where the Millinder band played, interracial appearances were legally proscribed.