by Ted Gottsegen
Charlie Creath was, like Fate Marable and Peck Kelly, was a regional band leader. Never traveling to the major jazz centers like Chicago or New York searching for fame and fortune, instead he opted to stay locally and play on the river boats that had proven to be fairly lucrative while relatively hassle free. The only way that Creath made it onto record was through the convenience of Okeh’s mobile recording unit.
From 1916 to 1940 Creaths main area of activity was, like Marables,
the riverboats traveling up and down the Mississippi river between St.
Louis and New Orleans. Many New Orleanians who would later become
legends in jazz history could be found in his bands including drummer
Zutty Singleton (who married his sister Marge), bassist Pops Foster and guitarist Lonnie Johnson.
Both Johnson and Singleton recorded with Charles Creaths Jazz-O-Maniacs
from 1924 to 1927.
In 1940, Creath headed for Chicago where he continued to play with
various groups until his death in 1951.