The Cal Greer Band was born in Huntington, West Virginia and came to Columbus in 1938 to play at the American Legion Hall Canteena Club on Mt. Vernon Avenue. This is the band that Jimmie Allen, sax, Eddie Nix, drums and Van Walls, piano played with, before graduating to bigger and better things.
It is said that Cal Greer’s Band was onstage when Lionel Hampton’s Band came into the club. Arnett Cobb was the star saxophone soloist with Hampton and everything was done to keep Cobb off the stage, changing keys and time signatures. However, a slight break came, Cobb threw up his saxophone and launched into Flying Home, a Hampton hit recording. Jimmie Allen, with Greer’s Band, wasn’t to be outplayed and the cutting contest between the two lasted for over an hour.