Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra in Iowa in the summer of 1939.
by Albert Haim
We know that Bill Donahoe and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz band went to Davenport in 1971 to pay homage to Bix and visit his grave.
But which was the first pilgrimage of a group of jazz musicians to visit Bix's grave? Paul Whiteman and the musicians in his orchestra.
From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Jul 26, 1939.
In late August 1939, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra was in Des Moines, Iowa and played for concerts and dances at the Iowas State Fair.
From the West Bend Journal, August 3, 1939.
Following their appearance in the Iowa State Fair, Whiteman's musicians went to Davenport to pay respect to Bix. On Sep 1, 1939, Whiteman placed a wreath on the grave and Charlie Teagarden played taps.
I don't have photos from 1939. I have these presumably from 1940 (could they be from 1939?).
From left to right: Goldie, Gerge Wettling, Pingitore, Miff Mole, Charlie Teagarden.