Red Nichols on "This is Your Life"

by Jon Pytko

While watching a YouTube video of "Stampede" by Red and Miff's Stompers, I noticed that it included two still photos from a "This Is Your Life Broadcast" dating from October 2, 1956. What immediately struck me was that I saw Nichols, Miff Mole, Jimmy Dorsey, the Teagarden brothers, and Arthur Schutt, all but the last with their respective instruments. Thus, three of the original Five Pennies sidemen from 1926 re-united with Red. This broadcast was unknown to me until this time.

I know that AMC, at one time, aired "This Is Your Life" re-runs. I wonder if this broadcast was ever shown. I did find a collector with an incomplete (alas!) audio track of the broadcast, but was hoping that perhaps someone would have more information before I make the plunge and buy it. Does the kinoscope survive, I wonder? Would the Hesters know anything of this?

Even if the ensemble was not quite playing the "cool" jazz of 1926-27 for which they are justly esteemed, how great it would be to see a veritable who's who of 20's jazz musicians playing together one more time, especially since Jimmy Dorsey passed away the following June.

Posted on May 10, 2012, 10:53 PM

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