Trumpet player, Henry "Red" Allen Jr. was the son of Henry
Allen who was the leader of the Allen Brass Band of Algiers,
Louisiana. Algiers is directly across the Mississippi River
from New Orleans.
As a teenager he played in his father's band, with George
Lewis, the Excelsior Band and with the Sam Morgan Band.
In 1926 he left New Orleans to play with Sidney Desvigne's
Southern Syncopaters on the riverboat Island Queen which
ran between St. Louis and Cincinnati. In 1927 he joined King
Oliver's Dixie Syncopators while they were on tour in St.
Louis. The tour didn't go well for Oliver, and the band kind of
fell to pieces in New York, but Red made his first recordings
while there with Clarence Williams.
Allen returned to New Orleans and played with Fats Pichon
and then joined Fate Marable on the Strekfus riverboat
Capitol where he would remain until 1928