In September 1943 Dizzy Gillespie left Earl Hines. Oscar Pettiford, who had been with Charlie Barnet from January, left that band in May. Gillespie played with Coleman Hawkins; and, for three weeks in October, with Duke Ellington at the Capitol theater on Broadway. Pettiford worked with Thelonious Monk at Minton's for four months before moving down to 52nd street's Onyx Club with Roy Eldridge. Then Gillespie and Pettiford got together as co-leaders of what is generally acknowledged to be the first group to formally present bebop to the general public. Shortly after the debut of the Gillespie-Pettiford unit, a recording was put together on February 16, 1944, that was the first formal statement of the new music on record. The leader and featured soloist of the date was Coleman Hawkins. Budd Johnson and Clyde Hart co-authored "Bu-Dee-Daht," the piece that later made Daniel Bloom rave to us in front of Columbia Grammar School, and "Disorder at the Border"; and Dizzy contributed a milestone with his composition "Woody'n You" (hee named it for Woody Herman because Herman had liked and encouraged his writing. Herman never recorded it. ) That was the begging of a new era.
"When I did come to New York to settle down in 1942, I joined Diz, Oscar Pettiford, Max Roach, and all those men at the Onyx Club. We really started to get into it, getting down arrangements, head arrangements, and recordings and all of that. So that's what I did. That's when it started. The Street made everybody aware of this new music. Dizzy was the theoretician to this music to my way of thinking and my knowledge, and he was really. It was lots and lots of fun. But some guys it didn't really influence too much—a lot of guys like Don Byas and Lucky Thompson and all of 'em. They stayed more in the Hawk thing, but they got the swiftness and the changes but they didn't necessarily sound in the exact style.