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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Harry 'Sweets' Edison

Harry 'Sweets' Edison discusses his nickname

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Harry 'Sweets' Edison on playing music in church

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Harry 'Sweets' Edison discusses the meaning of music

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Transcription

Q: “It was in the Basie band that you picked up the nickname ‘sweets’, right?”

A: “Yeah, Lester Young gave me that name. I don't know for what reason he did, but he had his ideas about everybody's personality, so he named it or coined it to your personality. He named himself 'Prez'. He named Billie Holiday 'Lady Day'. In fact, when I joined the band, she was just making her exit as a vocalist with Count Basie's Band and we became very, very, very dear friends and up until she died, we were absolutely just the close friends. We've made many, many records together.”