315. Orval "Baggie" Hardimon

Orval C. “Baggie” Hardimon

(1913-1999 )

 

The musically talented Baggie Hardimon played drums in high school but soon switched to guitar. His name appeared as a performer in a 1937 musical program at the Wayman AME Church and, in early 1938, he started playing Kokomo social venues. Soon, he was in Indianapolis with his first group, “3 Kings and a Queen,” then on to the East Coast. Like many bandleaders, he changed the name of his bands to reflect the changing players, recording as “4 Kings and a Queen,” “5 Kings and a Queen,” “4 Kings,” and other names.

 

Hardimon remained busy playing for audiences in the East throughout the 1940s. He sang, wrote music, and played guitar and keyboard. His groups cut records for at least three different labels, and backed everyone from Louis Armstrong to Ella Fitzgerald. He performed with Pearl Bailey and Billie Holiday and jammed with Stan Kenton.

 

He returned to Kokomo in 1951 and began 30 years as a Delco Radio employee. He continued to play music at a variety of area venues and was recognized for his longevity playing at the Grissom Air Force Base Officers’ Club. Over the years, he taught a number of area students to play guitar and organ. In 1988, he appeared in “Terror Squad,” a movie filmed in Kokomo, as Gus the custodian where he played guitar and had some lines. Hardimon died in 1999 at the age of 85.


Learn more about Baggie Hardimon:

https://www.wfyi.org/programs/cultural-manifesto/radio/orval-baggie-hardimon-kokomo-legend

Listen to Sincerely Yours by Savannah Churchill with The Five Kings

Baggie's Howard County Hall of Legends Induction.