Coleman Randolph Hawkins was a musician whose innovative playing style helped bring the saxophone to prominence in jazz music. He was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, on November 21, 1904, to William and Cordelia Hawkins. His mother, a pianist and organist, gave him piano lessons at age five, then started him on the cello. However, the sound of the saxophone had a special place in Coleman’s heart. For his ninth birthday, his parents bought him a C-melody saxophone, which he practiced so much that he often forgot to come in at mealtime.