It seems Lemuel “James” Fowler is likely to have been born July 19, 1898, in Woodlawn, Alabama, part of what is now Birmingham, the eldest son of Edward Richard Fowler and Tempe Thomas. This family can be found on the 1900 and 1910 census. The business address of an early publisher hints that Lem was in Chicago by around 1920, perhaps as part of the Great Migration, but by 1922 he is almost certainly in New York where he was prolific most obviously until about 1930 when his name seems to all but vanish. There is a 1942 World War II Draft Registration Card for James Fowler documenting a black male born in Alabama July 19, 1896, at a Harlem address . Finally a New York death record from June 8, 1963, for a Lemuel Fowler of Manhattan born in 1898 offers a convincing book end to the paper trail Nothing remotely suggestive has surfaced that would suggest Lem was alive after that time.
Find more details on the Lemuel Fowler Page
Confrey’s tune “Tricks” with Confrey’s own piano roll edited and synched to accompany Paul Whiteman with his band.