Bill Lagman

Bill Lagman (1907-1976) developed his personal style in Dixieland and Jazz from listening to local musicians and records, especially Bix Biederbeck. By 1925, he was the leader of a band called Bill’s Merrymakers which was followed by Crescent City Orchestra in 1929. The orchestra played afternoons at the Cawthon Hotel. His music was enjoyed at Monroe Park, on the Bay Queen and at ADDSCO during World War II. Throughout his career, Lagman performed for hundreds of parties, schools, organizations and civic events including America’s Junior Miss.

He wrote special arrangements for many Carnival societies’ tableau and his orchestra was always in demand during Mardi Gras for fifty years. He is an important part of Mobile’s musical history playing Ragtime in the twenties and Big Band music from the thirties through the seventies. One of Bill’s original trumpets is on display at the Mobile Carnival Museum and the trumpet given to him by The Tonight Show band leader Doc Severinsen, is on display at the Museum of Mobile.

He was awarded the M.O. Beale Scroll of Merit in 1968 for his “artistic contribution to [Mobile's] social and civic life.” Lagman was one of the founders of the Mobile Jazz Festival.