A little over two weeks ago, Chris Barry and I saw a new photo of Bix in the Bix Museum. The caption under the photo: Bix with friends in Lake Forest Academy in 1922. There are three people in the photo, Bix. a girl and another young man (unidentified). Chris and I immediately recognized the other young man: George Johnson, one of the members of the Wolverine Orchestra. We thought the location was incorrect.
Last weekend, in Davenport, I discussed this photo with Sue Fischer and Debbie White. Sue mentioned that George Johnson's name is written on the back of the photo (from Bix's family collection, now property of the Museum).
I had looked at Chris's wonderful article about George Johnson in the IAJRC Jouranl. Chris reported that in the Spring of 1922, Johnson transferred to Northwestern University. I have information in the Bixography website about Bix at Northwestern.
On March 10, 1922, the Jimmie Caldwell Band played at the Senior Ball at Northwestern University. The musicians in the band were Bix Beiderbecke (cornet), Don Murray and Reggie Severance (saxophone), Jimmy Fallis (clarinet), Jimmie Caldwell, (piano), Chuck Cheney (banjo), Jean Murphy (bass), Harry Gale (drums). The event was covered in several issues of the Daily Northwestern, the student newspaper of the university. The theme of the ball was "In My Dixie Paradise" and the Patton Gymnasium was decorated as a southern garden. Bix is not mentioned, but the Jimmie Caldwell band is, prominently.
I am grateful to Janet C. Olson, Assistant University Archivist, Northwestern University Archives, for searching the Daily Northwestern and for copying the relevant articles.
Thanks to Janet and one of her undergraduate assistants, we have another article about the Senior Ball in the Daily Northwesterner, this one dated March 8, 1922.
George Johnson was a student at Northwestern University at the time and it is highly likely that he met Bix at that time and/or on previous occasions in January when Bix played in Northwestern with Caldwell's band. Bix also played with Caldwell's band in Northwestern on May 20, 1922. The photo is likely from May since Bix and George are wearing white, light clothes. Debbie and Sue remarked that Bix, George and the girl are sitting on a cannon. Using her smart phone, Sue googled "cannon" and "Northwestern University" and found there is a historic cannon on display on the Northwestern University Campus. I can't find the image by googling. Sue, can you help? The other interesting feature of the photo is that Bix and George are wearing similar, formal clothes as if they were members of a band. Maybe George played with Caldwell and Bix on May 20, 1922 at Nortwestern?
This message has been edited by ahaim on Aug 7, 2017 12:33 PM