A Ft. Smith Musical Treasure
The Legacy of Alphonso Trent
This native son, of Ft.Smith, Arkansas on August 4, 1905. He was the son of Professor E. O., and Hattie S. Trent. He was educated in the Public schools of Ft. Smith, Arkansas and Shorter College in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was an accomplished musician, pianist and bandleader. In 1923 he organized a band that played the mid-west territories.
In 1925 he was given the largest contract ever given by the Hotel Adolphus, Dallas, Texas and was the first all-black band to do so. This made him famous in his chosen field, and opened avenues for others.
This band had such sidemen as: Stuff Smith; Peanuts Holland; Harry Sweets Edison; Snub Mosely and Sy Oliver.
He is also said to have had the great Claude “Fiddler” Williams playing with him briefly.
Trent left the band in 1932 but the band continued under his name until 1935. In 1935 he formed a sextet that included sidemen Alex Hill and Charlie Christian on guitar. In the 1940’s Alphonso retired from the music business and became a real estate agent in Ft. Smith.