Edison Goldman "Easy" Smith Jr


 DATE OF BIRTH: 10/05/1928

 DATE OF DEATH: 04/23/2003



 (703) 690-2217



 DATE OF BIRTH: 09/18/1924

 DATE OF DEATH: 06/17/2003



Easy's family was from New Orleans.  During the depression his mother and

father had to take jobs in different states.  His father worked in a ship

building yard in the north and his mother as a teacher in South Carolina.

Her employer required her to live in a dormitory so she could not have

her children with her.  During this time Easy and his siblings lived on a

Farm with his grand parents in North Carolina between Rocky Mount and

Roanoke Rapids.  While on the farm, he began playing the clarinet. He was 7

Years old.


Easy’s family reunited in Norfolk sometime in the late 1930's.  In Norfolk

Easy honed his skill playing clarinet and began to play sax.  Easy played his

first gig at the age of 14.  His uncle had to accompany him to the clubs

where he played.  Easy joined the musicians union in Norfolk.  While

waiting in line and the union office he met another young jazz musician,

Charlie Byrd.  After joining the union, his opportunities to play out expanded

to most of the clubs and restaurants in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.  During

this period of time, when bands came into the Norfolk area and stayed for a

week or more, they were required to some hire local union musicians.  This

gave the band leader the opportunity to give some of his regular players

time off.  This is where Easy first played with the Jimmy Dorsey Band.


He enlisted in the army in Richmond, on December 3, 1946.  After boot

camp, he joined the occupation forces in Germany.  During his time in Germany

he was one of the guards at the Nuremburg Trials.


When he returned from Europe he married Erika Klein.  They lived in

Roanoke VA for a time in the same apartment complex as Erika's sister and her

husband.  During this time, her sister's son became part of their family.

During this time Easy made trips to the west and played with territorial big



At some point Easy, Erica and Erika's sister's family move to Norfolk.

Here Easy took a job as a policeman in downtown.  Their next residence was in

Charlottesville, where they managed the Caviler Inn.  Erika's desire to

manage a hotel brought them to Manassas, where Erika became a part

owner of the Ole Town Inn.  While in Manassas, Easy went back to being a

policeman.  His involvement in the community expanded.  He found himself at

unofficial ball fields, organizing baseball.  His involvement lead to the formation

of little league baseball in Prince William County.


During all of this time Easy continued to play music.  He played with

most of the Swing Big Bands of the Maryland, DC and Virginia area, until one

day in the 1970s he decided to start his own band, the Jazz Masters.  They were

located in Arlington.  In the 1980's Sid Stidham, a member of the St

Thomas Methodist church started a big band as a part of the music outreach

program.  In the mid 1990's the two bands joined and became part of the music

ministry at the Manassas/St Thomas Methodist Church.  At this time Easy became

the leader of this group, the St. Thom Cats.  This band gave Easy the chance

to attended high school band concerts and request high school students to

play with his big band.


Before the merge of the two bands, both groups played many gigs a year.

For the benefit of charities, schools, parks and recreation, and other

Community organizations.  In addition, both bands were inter denominational.  These

traditions continue today in the memory an honor of Easy Smith.


Before his death, April 23, 2003, the City of Manassas and Prince

William County named the baseball complex at the corner of Godwin Drive and

Virginia Route 28 after Easy, The E G Smith Sports Complex.






            Jimmy Dorsey

            Several territorial bands in the mid west

            Tom Cunningham Orchestra

            Jazz Masters

            St Thom Cats

            Many combos


War service:

            WW II vet 101st Airborne



Local Clubs and Restaurants:

            Ice House in Herndon

            Hero's in Manassas

            Pistone's Italian Inn in Seven Corners

            219 Club in Alexandria

            Willow Grove Inn in Orange



            Walk for life

            American Cancer Foundation

            Verdun Adventure Bound Youth Camp

            Fund raisers for Band Boosters at many schools

            Played retirement homes

                        - Marywood Apartments

                        - Birmingham Green

                        - Cobblestones at Fairmont

                        - Quarry Station Seniors Apartments

                        - Caton Merchant House

                        - Annaburg Manor

                        - America House of Manassas

                        - America House of Culpepper

                        - Marshall Manor

                        - Fairmont Retirement Center


Community concerts:

            Manassas Museum

            Harris Pavilion

            Prince William Parks and Recreation

            Fauquier Parks and Recreation

            Manassas Center for the Arts

            Georgetown Jazz Festival

            Bluemont Concert Series

            Warrenton First Night

            Lord Fairfax Community College


Attended high school band concerts and invited high school students

to play with his big band.


Judged music talent competitions, worked with high school jazz bands,

and made presentations and summer music camps.


Wrote letters of recommendation for many young musicians that were

applying to colleges and military services.


Founder of the Little League program in Prince William County


Photos of Easy are on display at the Freedom Museum at the Manassas

Regional Airport.


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