Alphonso's Gold

A Documentary Film Project

Americans may stand taller because of the unique heritage of our vibrant music called "jazz" and recall those who bequeathed it to us. And Fort Smithians may be just as equally proud that one of our native sons was among the best of them.  Alphonso Trent, musician and truly an artist.

-Volume VIII, Number 1, April 1984

The Journal, Fort Smith Historical Society

Alphonso Trent

Photo provided by the Fort Smith Museum of History

Alphonso Trent
Alphonso at the Adolphus Hotel

Aphonso Trent and His Orchestra of Gold

Notable Achievements

  • The first black ensemble to work all white hotels in Texas. ¬†Beginning in 1925, the band played the ballroom of the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas for 18 straight months, setting a record never to be equaled.
  • The first black group to broadcast from a major hotel outside New York City (on 50,000 watt KFAA radio in 1925 from the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas).
  • Played at the inaugural ball of Miriam A. Ferguson, the first woman governor of Texas.
  • One of the first bands to use the string bass.
  • Trent's vocalist John Fielding was most likely the first "band-singer" in a jazz orchestra (1924), preceding even Bing Crosby.