William Alonzo Anderson was born in Greenville, South Carolina on September 12, 1916. At the age of four he lost both of his parents and was sent to live at Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, where he learned to play the trumpet. His classmates gave him the name “Cat” because of his fighting style. Anderson toured and made his first recording with the Carolina Cotton Pickers, a small group based at the orphanage. After leaving the group, Anderson played with several orchestras as well as Lionel Hampton, with whom he recorded the classic “Flying Home No. 2.” In 1944, Anderson joined Duke Ellington’s orchestra and stunned audiences with his solos in high registers. In addition to his trumpet, he was a very skilled arranger and composer. After 1971, Anderson settled in the Los Angeles area, where he continued to play studio sessions, to perform with local bands and to tour Europe. He passed away from cancer in 1981.
Sources: www.wikipedia.org and www.charlestonmag.com

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