More on Elizalde in print

by Nick Dellow

When Elizalde led his band at the Cinderella Ballroom in Los Angeles (1925-1926), he or one of his publicity-minded agents often sent articles to the Los Angeles Times containing heavy doses of hyperbole. I did (through Albert) upload these news items to the forum, in the following post, but the images appear to be missing. Is there any way to retrieve them Albert?:-

The hot trumpet in Elizalde's Californian band was Ted Schilling - quite obviously not Bix! The mention of Bix in the Tune Times article is likely to be a case of wishful thinking! Elizalde extolled the virtues of Schilling - and also Bix - in his Melody Maker column in 1927 (in the May 1927 issue):-

"Louis Armstrong and Ted Schilling are other wonderful trumpet players little known in this country. They both have experience with the best orchestras in the States, and we foresee the brightest of futures for Schilling especially; in fact, we expect him to be the best trumpet player across the Atlantic before a couple of years are gone, and he is the only performer on that instrument we have heard during the last twelve months or so who has absolute originality of phrasing and style, and who hardly ever does the same things, or anything like them, twice in the same tune."

In fact, Schilling more or less disappeared from view within a short period of time, and we all know what happened to the other trumpet player mentioned!

In the same May 1927 column, Fred (and his brother Lizz, who helped compile the "Who's Who In American Bands" column) introduced British audiences to Bix:-

"Take for instance, "Bix" Bidlebeck (sic). Bix is considered by Nichols himself, and every other trumpet player in the States for that matter, as the greatest trumpet player of all time. Yet how many in this country know of him? Nevertheless even Nichols plays to-day the style that Bidlebeck was working as far as back as five years ago, simply because that style is considered even in America to be the latest in trumpet playing. "Bix" is called the "King" by his brother musicians - a fitting title for such an artist. He really is an amateur - at least he is a rich man and only plays for the fun of it. Like many other great artists, he's quite crazy in a mild way."

The Elizaldes also spoke about Trumbauer. Again, there are several inaccuracies, but even so, as with Bix, it is fascinating to read this contemporary account:-

"Of saxophone players, the best known man in this country is perhaps Frankie Trumbaur (sic), who has recorded a great deal with the Goofus Five on Parlophone records. A star of long standing, he has done some wonderful things in the last five or six years. Of German extraction he went to the States when a little boy and soon acquired prominence while playing for Ray Miller and his orchestra, when Miller had a really fine band that included the celebrated Miff Mole on the trombone. We last heard of Frankie when he was playing with Bix Bidlebeck in St Louis in an orchestra under their combined leadership - a wonderful orchestra it was, too."

Posted on Feb 1, 2018, 1:52 AM

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