Frances “Frann” Gaddison, 1993
Frances “Frann” Gaddison (1925 - 1996) was a jazz pianist and alto saxophone player. She graduated from Lincoln High School in Dallas, which is known for producing a number of jazz greats. During her career, as a woman in a male dominated genre, many of her contributions were overlooked, but her accomplishments are notable. In her 20s she played alto sax in three all-female orchestras, the All-Star Girl Orchestra, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, and the Darlings of Rhythm. She later played piano with Lionel Hampton’s band, appeared at Carnegie Hall, and accompanied Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Betty Carter, Dinah Washington, Eddie “Lock-jaw” Davis, and many more. The majority of her career was spent in New York, but she returned to Dallas in the late 1970s, playing small venues until her health declined.
More information about Frann Gaddison can be found on the Texas State Historical Association Handbook of Texas.