One of the many fine musicians to come out of Louisville, Kentucky, Jimmy Harrison played trombone with many historic outfits exploring syncopated music in the '20s. Although he began enjoying the horn as a 15-year old, making a livelihood from music did not seem to occur to him immediately. While still basically a casual local player he accompanied his father on a move to Toledo, Ohio, where the two managed a family restaurant. Harrison began playing semi-pro baseball during this period, still uncertain about what kind of slide would be most important to him, the one on the end of the trombone or the one that takes a runner into home base. Finally he left Toledo as part of a touring minstrel show in which his talents as both a trombonist and singer were featured.