Trumpeter and vocalist Ovie Alston worked with Bill Brown and His Brownies from 1928 to 1930. In 1931 he joined Claude Hopkins and remained with the pianist's orchestra until forming his own group, which debuted at the Apollo in November of 1936. Alston became an early victim of the draft and spent a year in the military. Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake fronted the band during his absence. Alston resumed leadership after his discharge and continued to perform in the New York area until 1952. He led bands for private engagements throughout the 1950s before retiring.