The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society, almost the pre-history.
The Society, a non-profit organization located in Davenport, Iowa, Bix's hometown, has the goal of preserving and honoring the memory of Bix's musical genius. The most important activity of the Society, The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, takes place every year during the first weekend of the month of August. The festivals began in 1972 and have taken place every year without interruption, even in 1995, the year of the big floods in the midwest. (LeClaire Park, one of the main venues of the festival, is located on the banks of the mighty Mississippi river and was under water). Several bands and fans from all over the world gather to keep the memory of Bix alive and to celebrate his musical contributions to jazz.
In 1974, the president of the society was Don O'Dette. Ken B kindly sent a copy of a letter dated Nov 5, 1974 in which Don invites Ken to join the society.
Thanks very much, Ken. A nice piece of history.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 21, 2012 12:39 PM This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 21, 2012 12:37 PM This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 21, 2012 12:36 PM This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 21, 2012 12:35 PM
One More Version of "Let's Do It," the French Way.
Rob kindly sent this version of Let's Do It, recorded in Paris by Ray Ventura et ses collegiens on Feb 23, 1929. Vocal by Edoard (no typo) S. Foy, John Arslanian, and Krikor "Coco" Arslanian. I saw the Ray Ventura band during the second world war; although I was a teenager, I remember them well, fantastic music and extremely amusing show. "Coco" was my favorite performer. I remember him as Coco Aslan.
Hello from Michigan. Jimmie Caldwell is my grandfather. I have a copy J.E.'s memoirs handtyped by him back in the 1980's. Music was his life blood and he has much to say about all the great musicians he came in contact with. I have a photo of the band and have always wondered who's who. I have recently sent a copy of the photo to Northwestern Univ. and am in the process of pulling the written information together for their archives. I am still unclear about two of the men because they both hold a sax. I believe the one is Jimmie Fallis who played sax and clarinet, which is next to him on the floor. I am in the process of finding these other musicians and hopefully a photo of them.
J.E.'s memoirs are in excess of 570 type-written pages.
Hello Janice, and welcome to the Bixography Forum!!
Thnaks very much for the fascinating information. I am particularly interested in the photo and the memoirs. Maybe you can send the photo to me and I would be happy to post it here and hope that we can identify the musicans.
Of course, Bix played with your grandfather and I would be very grateful if you could scan the pages of his memoirs where he talks about Bix. One of the reed players in Caldwell's band was Don Murray, a good friend of Bix's. I would also appreciate very nuch if you could tell us what your grandfather has to say about Don. Another musican in Caldwell's band was Harry Gale, a good friend of Bix. Does your grandfather have anything to say about Gale?
Early Oct 1921. Bix sits with Jimmy Caldwells band. Nov 25, 1921 Bix sits with Caldwell group at Edgewater Beach Hotel. Jan 26, 1922. Bix plays officially with Caldwells band at Senn High School Prom. (A crowd of more than 2,000 attend). Feb 18, 1922. Bix sits with Bill Grimm in Lake Forest. Feb 26, 1922. Bix plays with Bill Grimm at Northwestern University. Mar 10, 1922. Plays with Caldwell at Northwestern University. Apr, 1922. Works weekends with Caldwell at the Edgewater hotel.
Here is my correspondence with the archivist at Northwestern University. Maybe you could get some information about the Senior Ball of March 10, 1922
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Friday, June 11, 2010 8:38 AM To: email@example.com Subject: 1922 Senior Ball and 1922 Homecoming Week
I am Albert Haim, professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. I am carrying out research about a 1920s jazz musician named Bix Beiderbekce.
Bix appeared twice in Nothwestern University: once on March 10, 1922 with Jimmie Caldwell's band for the Senior Ball, and again on Nov 10, 1922 with Charles Podalsky's band during the Homecoming Week Dance.
I wonder if you have any documentation associated with the two events, correspondence with the leaders of the bands when they were engaged for the functions, accounts and photographs of the events in the student newspapers and/or yearbooks, etc.
I would be grateful for any information related to the bands engaged for the two functions.
Thank you for your enquiry regarding the Beiderbekce concerts. I wish we could be more helpful but not a trace of his appearance remains. The student newspapers then were thin affairs: 4 pages/issue and devoid of all but the biggest stories in that context. So much so, that not even Homecoming itself received coverage! The yearbooks have shots of football games but not dances at that period. Beyond that, there are no photos or surviving documentation. Naturally, we're wondering how you became aware of Bix's performances here. Care to share that with us? In any case, I'm sorry we can't do more.
Best of luck of your research on what has to be a great topic.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 21, 2012 11:27 AM
The Love Nest; Trumbauer's version. A Bixian solo by Izzy Friedman?
The Love Nest is a composition by Louis A. Hirsch and Otto Harbach recorded twice by Bix, years after it had been introduced. Here is some information.
The ASCAP data base gives the following
LOVE NEST (Title Code: 420089014) Writers: HARBACH OTTO A HIRSCH LOUIS A
Performers: ALPERT H/T J B ANTHONY RAY BEIDERBECKE B BOSS T BRADLEY AND MCKINLEY BRADLEY R ELGART L ELGART LES FIREHOUSE FIVE PLUS TWO GRANT GOGI & ORCHESTRA HI LO S LOMBARDO G MATHIS J MCKINLEY R TIJUANA BRASS VINNEGAR LEROY WILL BRADLEY AND RAY MCKINLEY
Words by Otto Harbach, music by Louis A. Hirsch, 1920 Introduced by Janet Velie and Jack McGowan in the stage musical "Mary" Popularized by Art Hickman and His Orchestra Theme song of the Burns and Allen radio show The Helen Morgan Story (Gogi Grant dubbing for Ann Blyth), 1957
THE LOVE NEST From the George M. Cohen musical "Mary" (1920) and from the George Burns & Gracie Allen Show (Louis A. Hirsch / Otto A. Harbach)
George Burns & Gracie Allen
Also recorded by: Herb Alpert; Chet Baker; Bix Beiderbecke; George Benson; Black Eagle Jazz Band; Will Bradley; Paul Bryant; Sam Butera; Nat King Cole; Eddie Condon; Bob Crosby; Tal Farlow; Jacques Gauthe; Jackie Gleason; Bobby Gordon; Marty Grosz; The Hi-Lo's; Art Hodes; James P. Johnson; Teddi King; Phil Klein; Jimmie Lunceford; Johnny Mathis; Paris Washboard; Joe Puma; Bud Shank; George Shearing Quintet; John Steel; Sonny Stitt; Dick Sudhalter; Jack Teagarden; Frankie Trumbauer & His Orch.; Leroy Vinnegar; Benny Waters; Lawrence Welk; Paul Whiteman Orch.
Just a love nest, cozy and warm, Like a dove breast, down on the farm, A veranda with some sort of clinging vine, Then a kitchen where some rambler roses twine; In a small room, tea set of blue, Best of all room, dream room for two, Better than a palace with a gilded dome, Is the love nest you can call home!
Take a look at the sheet music.
Bix recorded the tune twice, once with Whiteman (vocal just humming) and again with Tram (vocal by Charles Gaylord, possibly the worst vocal in a Bix recording). The original title is "The Love Nest." That is the title on the label for the Bix and Tram recording. However, the Whiteman recording gives just "Love Nest."
The tune is obviously a perennial favorite. First recorded in 1920, it has been recorded through the ages. It is weird that the Whiteman recording was mastered in 1928, but not released until 1932. The Tram version was mastered in 1928 but was not released on OKeh. It was released as ParE R2645. See
According to Evans and Evans commenting on the Tram recording of the tune, "As a rhythm instrument, Rube Crozier bassoon has about as much lift as a lead balloon. And, as the old saying goes, the unknown drummer should have been arrested for impersonating a musician." [The style of writing seems to me more Norman Gentieu than Phil Evans.] The recording session that brought us "The Love Nest" by Trumbauer is the one when Bix, after being shoved by Margulis, told him, "Don't shove. Push politely."
Listen for Izzy Friedman short solo at 1:00. I think it is highly Bixian. Opinions?
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 21, 2012 6:26 AM
My Mammy by Paul Whiteman: Two out of twenty-one!!
The Recording Sessions.
On Feb 17, 1921, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra
(Henry Busse, t; Sam Lewis, tb; Hale "Pee Wee" Byers, Ross Gorman, as; Paul Whiteman, vn; Ferde Grofe, Arnold Johnson, p; Mike Pingitore, bj; Jack Barsby, bb; Harold McDonald, d)
went into the Victor Talking Machine Co. recording studio in New York City, National Association Building, 28 W. 44th Street, 22nd floor [Note 1] and waxed six takes of My Mammy, A Medley (Introducing "Beautiful Faces.") All were rejected.
The orchestra went into the studios again on Feb 25, 1921 and recorded takes 7-11; all were destroyed.
On March 1, 1922, the orchestra recorded takes 12-18. Two takes were mastered, 14 and 17; the remaining were destroyed.
On March 2, 1922, the band recorded takes 19-21; all were destroyed.
The yield is pitiful, 2 takes mastered out of 21 recorded, less than 10 % sucess. And isn't it surprising that after two takes were mastered on Mar 1, the band went again to the studio to wax three additional takes?
The information from the EDVR website is provided in Note 1. In summary, two takes were mastered and issued. Surprisingly, Don Rayno tells us that take 14 was mastered but not issued, and take 17 mastered, Victor 18737 and released in May 1921. The EDVR website tells us that both take 14 and take 17 were issued on Victor 18737. Take a look at the record labels from the LOC Jukebox and note the mumbers 14 and 17 on the left handside of the record labels.
You will notice Walter Donaldson and Irving Berlin are the composers listed in the record labels. Granted that Whiteman's version was instrumental, but the composers according to the original sheet music are Walter Donaldson (music) and Sam Lewis and Joe Young (lyrics).
I guess, music publishers added their names as composers to some of the sheet music they published.
Here is the sheet music with Al Jolson on the cover.
From Wikipedia: Though associated with Al Jolson, who performed the song very successfully, "My Mammy" was performed first by William Frawley("Fred Mertz" from I Love Lucy) as a vaudeville-style act. Jolson heard the song and performed it for theBroadway show Sinbad in 1918. Jolson recorded this song twice and performed it in films, including The Jazz Singer (1927), The Singing Fool (1928) and Rose of Washington Square (1939).
Does anyone know why were so many takes done by the Whiteman band, especially during the acoustic era? Since Victor kept such detailed notes on the number of takes attempted, we can see this pattern throughout the 1920-25 period. Were the complex and detailed arrangements hard to play and balance?
Perhaps the failed takes were not so much musician errors as problems in the recording process--equipment--speed miscalibrations, for example--or problems with the wax. It was early days, and I remember that a warped record or dragging turntable or even tape speed problems were much more noticeable on music than voice parts.
Stokowski's first issued Tchaikovsky recording was of the third movement (Marche scherzo) of Tchaikovsky Symphony no 6, opus 74, the 'Pathétique'. This movement was recorded April 18, 1921 in the Camden Church Studio. The recording is a fine performance; open, balanced, and detailed. Stokowski had previously rejected recording sessions of this movement in 1917, 1920 and the previous month in 1921. In fact, the 1917 effort was of the full third movement, rather than this heavily truncated version. Even with this selectivity as to takes, the issued recording was of take number 11 of a total of 12 different takes made that day in April, 1921.
It is somewhat unusual that 11 takes of this side were necessary for a successful release. However, we should also consider the many hundreds of acoustic sides which were recorded, yet never released. This is a testament to the difficulties and unpredictability of acoustic recording.
By the way, the orchesta consisted of 80 musicians in the 1917 recordings. Talk about sardines.
Thanks for those interesting responses-certainly what you say makes sense. Judging by the amazing photos that Vince posted re: the Gennett studios, recording a band like Whiteman's using the acoustic set up must have been really difficult! All the care that Victor took paid off, in my view, given how good the 1920-25 Whiteman recordings sound.
Having said, and to get us back to Bix, his cornet sound certainly came off well during the acoustic era. Despite the major limitations of the acoustic recording process, his wonderful tone registers so well on those 1924-25 records.
Nothing anyone has said explains why this particular recording was so troublesome. I hear nothing in the music or the recording itself that could have posed any special challenge over and above any other tunes Whiteman was waxing. Both his musicians and the Victor staff were the top men in their respective businesses and could cut anything. My guess is: somebody had a bee in his bonnet. There must have been some picayune detail that no casual listener would have heard (or cared about if he did), that assumed epic proportions in the mind of Someone In Charge. I can't imagine what it could have been, but that's the usual way these things happen.
Charlie Chaplin, some film buff has calculated, had a takes-to-print ratio of 53-to-1 when he was making 2-reel shorts for Mutual in 1917. His bonnet was FULL of bees. This is all documented in the BBC series "The Unknown Chaplin." Since Chaplin was a genius, it all paid off artistically. I don't know if the same is true for Whiteman, at least in the case of "My Mammy."
It took Charlot (as I think of him because I became a fan as a child) two years and eight months to film my all-time favorite movie, City Lights.
Chaplin spent several weeks and took repeated takes in order to film the three minutes where the blind girl is introduced. It looks so spontaneous, but every detail is thought out and tried in advance, over and over and over.
21 takes? Peanuts. According to one source, Chaplin took 342 takes of the scene in City Lights where the tramp meets the blind girl.
I love the music in the soundtrack, La Violetera by Jose Padilla. Here is a version as a tango by the immortal Carlos Gardel, recorded in the 1920s.
Get a load of the number of connections to Bix among the musicians: Roy Johnston & Charles Rocco-t, Miff Mole-tb, Frank Trumbauer-Cmel, Andy Sannella & Larry Abbott-cl/as, Billy Richards-ts, Rube Bloom-p, Frank di Prima-bj/g, Don Yates-vn, Louis Cassagne-bb and Ward Archer-d.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 19, 2012 1:52 PM
Courtesy of Vince Giordano, here are two photographs, ....
.... previously unknown, of the Gennett Studios in New York City.
I did a bit of googling. First, a bit of information about Gennett records. Known to most of you.
- From http://www.vjm.biz/new_page_6.htm In October 1916 the Gennett label was launched. Gennett's recordings from 1916 to mid-1921 were only made in New York (where Gennett had offices at 9-11 East 37th Street). Meanwhile, recording began in Richmond on August 21, 1921; preceded by about 20 test recordings in July.
-From http://www.starrgennett.org/stories/history/3.htm Location recording, begun in 1924, was sporadic but eventually reached Birmingham, Cincinnati, Chicago, the El Tovar Hotel at Grand Canyon (site of the Hopi Indian sessions), Minneapolis-St. Paul, and possibly Los Angeles. Personal Recording Departments operated in Richmond and New York, and Starr also maintained a thriving custom- and private-label business.
Now to the main point of the new photos. You see in the caption the phrase "Music Appreciation Records."
The Ginn and Company of Boston was a publisher of books for children and for schools, active in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Here is an example of the cover of one of their books.
I couldn't resist showing the cover of a chemistry textbook that the Ginn and Co. published in 1906.
In the mid-1920s, the company decided to launch a program of Music Appreciation for schools and hired Henry Hadley to arrange for recordings as companions to the publishers' Teachers Manuals "Music Appreciation in the Schoolroom." The musicians were members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the anumbers were recorded in the Gennett Studios. There is useful information about Hadley in http://www.naxos.com/person/Henry_Hadley/19155.htm From 1920 till 1927 he was associate-conductor of the New York Philharmonic Society. In 1925, Ginn and Company, a Boston-based educational publisher, contracted with the Starr Piano Company, manufacturers of Gennett Records, to issue a series of educational recordings to accompany its publications for a "complete course in music appreciation for the elementary schools in America." The soloists included Theo Karle, Frederick Baer, and Hadley's wife, Inez Barbour. Recorded acoustically, Henry Hadley conducted members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra anonymously on many of these educational 78rpm discs. When production of the series shifted to the Columbia Phonograph Company in 1926, the earlier recordings were replaced by a newly electrically recorded series once again produced under the direction of Hadley.
A couple of comments.
- Note the five horns in the first photo. I once stated that this was a primitive form of "mixing." I imagine the narrow ends of all the horns merged into one which then ended on a vibrating diaphragm which was attached to a cutting needle.
- Here is another photo of the Gennett studio in New York.
From the jazzhound website: Bailey's Lucky Seven in Gennett's New York Studios, February 10, 1923. Probable personnel ( L-R):- Sam Lanin (pretending to blow clarinet), unknown, not Loren McMurray or Benny Krueger), Nick Lucas (not Eddie Lang as has been conjectured), Phil Napoleon (with back to camera), Joe Lanin, Miff Mole, Jules Levy Jr. Note the cymbal on the stool in front of Lucas - played by Sam Lanin? I'm grateful to Elizabeth Knight, granddaughter of Joe Lanin for identifying him as the pianist.
Looks like the same studio to me. In the second photo, the musicians are packed like sardines.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 19, 2012 9:21 AM
Can we assume that this studio is the one in which Bix recorded four sides with the Wolverines and the two Sioux City Six sides in 1924 and that all four acoustic horns were used? Having those four horns had to be something like having multiple microphones. Those six sides seem to me to be better recordings than those from the Richmond Studio, and I'm assuming the number of recording horns had something to do with that.
Yes, that is the same studio where Bix recorded in 1924.
The photo of the studio in 1923 shows only one horn. I imagine that the arrangement of five horns for the 1925 recording sessions of the New York Philharmonic was specifically designed for such a large group of musicians.
Hal, it looks like it's a vinyl test from an original stamper of the rare Take B of "Loved One". Evidently when this was pressed the stamper still existed (after that disastrous fire in Hollywood several years ago, it may not exist now). It could have been pressed as late as the 1980s, but it should be definitely from the original stamper.
Thanks much, Harold! I hope to be e-mailing you soon.
Folks, if you don't have any of the LP's and CD's that Harold produced back in the 80s and 90s, you're really missing something: I was very proud to have written the liner notes for Harold's (now rare) 2-LP set devoted to the 1931-1932 Gene Kardos band (nearly all the Victor's are there in very clean transfers, all from the collection of the late Mike Sambach). He also produced several CD sets devoted to the 1930-1932 Isham Jones Brunswick sides, and a very well-researched set devoted to Snooks' Memphis Ramblers / Stompers. Hal was able to interview people who probably were never interviewed before for these sets, and as such they are now valuable documents.
I'll be happy to make copies of those notes for you, Mike - once I locate them! - but I have temporarily misplaced both copies that I had of those printed notes. I'll do a search for them and send them to you once they're located.
as a recently-minted bixophile, i've obtained my core grounding in 1927, bix and tram, bix and gang, etc. now, i've started to work my way through the whiteman catalogue. (note - i have some goldkette favorites, such as "clementine", and i like a number of wolverines pieces, but the poor fidelity of the recordings really limits my enjoyment).
i do like "lonely melody", and i suppose everyone listens to "changes" and "there ain't no sweet man etc."
but i am intrigued by "from monday on". you have to clear some hurdles: the opening and closing are strange to my ears; the singing is, well, of the typical style of the period; and the lyrics are sometimes painful ("we picked on monday, because its wash day...."). once you're by that however, you've got a crackling opening solo by bix, then later on a goodly chunk of some truly terrific ensemble playing (reminiscent to me of "clarinet marmalade" and "san").
anybody have any thoughts on this ?
b/t/w, atticus has all 3 versions loaded on one clip at youtube.
This is an interesting arrangement which sets off both Bix's solo and Bing's vocal beautifully. I've got photocopies of the band parts from the Whiteman Collection at Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.) and what's striking is how different the parts are from the three extant recordings. It looks like the vocal trio parts were not always part of the band's live performances as the "a tempo" section just before Bix's solo (which is "scat sung" by the Rhythm Boys on the recording) is scored for trombones and saxes-maybe for performances without the Rhythm Boys. As well, the form of the arrangement (according to the band parts) includes a stop-time chorus where the band members stomped their feet in between snatches of the melody played by the winds and brass. The violin section soli on the recording ( and contained on the parts) was essentially a harmonization of the verse of the song-which can be heard (with lyrics) on the Rhythm Boys version of "From Monday On". The brass soli which follows the violin section feature is also in the parts but comparing the lead cornet line (played by Bix) with the 3 recorded takes we have on this piece, Bix took some liberties with the written line (not surprisingly!). You're right that this section resembles "Clarinet Marmalade" and "San" as Matty Malneck either composed a soli for the brass in Bix's style or got together with Bix (as Bill Challis often did) and transcribed a solo as played by Bix, afterwards harmonizing it for a section of instruments. Too bad that the Frank Trumbauer version of "From Monday On" is lost to us. It would be interesting to have it around for comparison!
one of the wonderful things i have learned quickly about this forum is that when you post a point, you are as likely as not to get a response that will not only be topical but, as well, informative bordering on scholarly !
i remember when i first listened to "clarinet marmalade", i was struck by bix's ensemble playing with tram as much as i was by his lead and solo work on the piece (which, as i have posted before, i find to be incredible). here, we have another example of that tight and melodic teamwork, and i love it.
Not hidden: out in the sun where everyone can hear these gems
The three (eventually) released takes of From Monday On were recorded over a period of two weeks in Februay 1928. Althoiugh recorded within two weeks of each other, it took years and even more than a decade for all to be released: Take 3 was released in 1941, take 4 in 1936 and take 6 in 1928.
To me, the recordings of Matty Malneck's arrangements of From Monday On are little masterpieces, Whiteman at his best, the sweet trio doing the sweet intro followed by 2/3 of the Rhythm boys jazzing it up, and then explosive 32-bar solos (all somewhat different) by Bix, and then Bix is all over the place, leading, pushing, encouraging. Several people have done the experiment of stringing together the three Bix solos, you get 96 bars of Bix at the top of his technical powers and inventive imagination. Of course, not only a show piece for Bix, but a manifestation of the unsurpassed musical qualities of the Whiteman boys playing hot ensemble music. I can't think of Bix without hearing in my head Bix, Bing and the enormous power of the Whiteman musicians doing From Monday On.
I agree with everything you say about this, Albert. I had the pleasure of restoring the arrangement for a live performance that I conducted for CBC Radio here in Vancouver back in 1995-96. Because Williams College had no original score for "From Monday On", I had to transcribe what was missing (see my previous post) and recopy all the parts for our Whiteman tribute orchestra. Our vocalist was a veteran Vancouver musician (Lance Harrison) who is (so far) the only person I've met who heard Bing with Gus Arnheim via the radio back in the 1930-31 period. It was an enormous thrill to conduct and play on a bunch of these "golden era" (c.1927-30) arrangements written for the Whiteman band-including some unrecorded items from the "Old Gold" radio period that were designed for Bix and Bing.
Matty Malneck, of course, wrote the great arrangement of "Mary" for Bix and Bing. It also features an excellent cornet soli that still sounds great to this day-and beyond.
Thanks again, Albert, for keeping this wonderful site going!
Thanks Alan for the postings and the generous words about the Forum.
I imagine you know this, but for the benfit of frorumites who do not own a copy of Don's superb biography of Paul Whiteman, here is the desscrition of what Don found in the Williams College Whiteman archives.
In 1998, the author and William Youngren carefully examined the parts for Malneck's arrangement, which is at Williams College. The folder actually has two sets of parts, one in ink and one in pencil. The recording closely follows the ink parts (marked OK), the major exception being the introduction, which was originally slated to be done instrumentaly rather than vocally. The penciled parts (marked "1/2") are for a subsequent sstage show and contain instructions to "stamp feet." Interestingly, in the penciled version, Bix's solo is eliminated, and a chorus for Busse is inserted later in the arrangement. . There are only two trumpet parts in ink. Jimmy Dorsey who had already left the band, was not playing in the brass trio on this first "From Monday ON" session.
There are two major differences between takes 4 and 6 (Feb 28) and take 3 (Feb 13). The first is that on the latter two takes, Min Leibrook's bass sax replaces the string bass of Steve Brown... Secondly, takes 4 and 6 have some good hot clarinet (Friedman) and hot violin (Malneck) improvisations above the brass trio passage in the latter part of the final chorus; these are absent in take 3.
The information about these recordings in the EDVR website:
Matrix BVE-41689. From Monday on / Paul Whiteman Orchestra
Stu, you are right about the progress of a a Bix novice. The Gang and Trumbauer recordings are the most accessible to new ears, mainly because the work of Bix and the other major hot jazz players with whom he was associated was so influential that they passed down the style that they substantially created and perfected, and it is still being used by working musicians. The newest Wolverines compendium is much easier to listen to, and if you've become very familiar with the slightly later Bix, you'll see why they are special if you really listen.
I had a harder time with the Whiteman recordings, too, partly because of the "dated" period style of some of them and partly because the listeners have to wade through all those "symphonic jazz" overlays to get to the Bix parts. But, my, oh my, are there some gems of Bix's genius there, showing the range of his creativity and musicality. So hang in there. It's worth it.
in my very first post on the forum, i cited the well-known phrase that i had heard that bixophiles cherish every note...because there were so few of them. i need to remember that everytime i think i've come upon something new. it may be new to me, but the old pros will have undoubtedly analyzed it note by note long before i ever first heard it !
but it's still a joy of discovery for the newbie.
maybe someday i'll be able to guide a new initiate the way our veterans are guiding me.
at the end of the day, it's all great fun and wonderful listening.
Thank you, Stu. The Forum's proprietor, Albert Haim, and the current correspondents are always delighted to hear from a new Bix fan and will gladly offer to answer any questions. The Forum archives are also a treasure trove of earlier discussions, many involving Bix fans and scholars who knew Bix's colleagues or second-generations Bixian players and have submitted recollections or documents that have wonderful information and discussions.
Those of us who came much later are at least fortunate that in the past several decades the music has become easily accessible, thanks to many reissues, YouTube, Amazon, and sites like RedHotJazz or the open Facebook groups (check out Hot Jazz Records, 1917-1931, The Jazz Age, Come on and Stomp, Stomp, Stomp, Red Nichols, sponsored by knowledgeable fans who occasionally appear here, and, of course, Bix Beiderbecke Is the Greatest...). Come to the Davenport Bix Beiderbecke Festival! There're a lot of us out there.
Although Bix recorded about 250 songs, they are not nearly enough, of course, and that is why the Forum has featured long discussions of recordings that someone thinks "sounds like Bix." We keep fervently hoping that something new will surface.
Thanks,Gerri. I quote what you wrote here about three years ago.
He would not give Rich and I an interview. All he would say was yes he played for Bix, he remembers is was a small group, but doesn't remember the music he played. He was self employed as a musician and private teacher. In 2006 he was still a staff organist at Runge Mortuary.
We always believed that Kenneth Peterson would live forever and that he would pass into the heavens with his long, thin fingers on the keys of an organ.
Ken passed officially through the golden gates Monday afternoon, age 99, listening to his own organ music. He would have smugly smiled, too, at the eulogy of the minister.
I am told he played organ at 23,000 funerals. He buried the equivalent of a small city (example, Muscatine, 22,886). Imagine, walking into heaven and 23,000 people looking up and saying, Theres Ken Peterson. He played at my funeral, said the Rev. Richard Pokora, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bettendorf.
It may have been a record; only St. Peter will know.
Shelly Heil, who shared the Redeemer organ bench with Ken for many years, came to Bettendorf from her home in Indianapolis to play for his funeral.
I played only hymns composed by Ken, she says. He was not only a wonderful musician, but a fine composer.
A starched white shirt was Kens mainstay when he played at every one of his 23,000 funerals. I went to his apartment to get one of his white shirts and dark blue suits for the funeral, said Henry Runge of Runge Mortuary in Davenport, which handled arrangements. There were only white shirts.
THE LAST TIME Ken sat down for an interview was in 2010. We visited in the cramped organ room at Runge, where he took a leather book from his vest pocket and penciled in his 22,480th funeral. He said, Im a little wobbly, but when they want a real organ not a contemporary recording they call on me. I intend to make 23,000.
Our visit that day was memorable. He talked forthrightly about the shift in funeral protocol and funeral music. I will never play rock, he said, somberly. But he brightened to tell how he has played Beer Barrel Polka.
On the day of our visit, he was pleased to have a break in his organ music when someone came forth to play the harmonica.
FEW COULD BELIEVE he was the organist at the 1931 funeral of Bix Beiderbecke, our legendary golden boy.
Only wealthy, well-known people were there. I believe I played that old Presbyterian favorite, Rock of Ages. For sending Bix into the heavens of jazz, Ken says he was paid $2.50.
That was about par for the era when there were 10 funeral homes in Davenport. Ken once played for six funerals in one day.
I did it all, he said. I would play the organ while singing, What a Friend We Have In Jesus. I quit singing because I was never sure what was going to come out.
Ken tended to be agreeable to most requests. Long ago, funerals were sometimes held in the family home.
I played hymns on the family piano that was usually out of tune. When the family left for the cemetery, I stayed behind to fold up the chairs and run the vacuum cleaner.
Henry Runge calls Kenneth Peterson one of the most remarkable people hes ever known.
When Ken fully retired 18 months or so ago, he turned over a complete log of the songs he played for every single funeral at our place. Then, if someone wants the same hymn at their funeral that was played for great-grandma, we have it on file.
Gerri, could you ask Henry Runge for a list of the songs Mr. Peterson played at the Bix funeral? Thanks.
I am sure most of you know that Hot Lips was composed by Henry Busse. But there were two other composers.
Henry Lange (1895-1985) was a pianist for Whiteman, on and off, between Jan 1921 and April 1924. He was the pianist in the famous recording of Dec 16, 1924 Doo Wacka Doo with a highly Bixian solo by Leroy Morris. There is a very informative webpage about Henry Lange: http://www.amica.org/Live/Organization/Honor-Roll/lang.htm
Henry Lange and his orchestra recorded Hot Lips on Sep 15, 1927 for Gennett in Richmond IN. A pretty hot interpretation with Leroy Morris doing the Bixian solo (not as Bixian as his solo in Doo Wacka Doo).
Ken B sends this photo of Chicago in the early/middle 1920s. Thanks very much, Ken. I appreciate all your contributions.
State Street Chicago, early middle 1920's.
I light heartedly draw your attention to the bottom left hand corner, just past the lamp post, second person in.
Could it be the back view of Bix in his grey suit and trilby, the identical outfit he was wearing in the Bronx Zoo shot of the Goldkette boys outside the bear cage with a man in a monkey suit?
No, it couldn't possibly be him.
I remind you that the Dec 2008 issue of the IAJRC Journal has an article by Dick Raichelson "Bix at the Alhambra Ballroom. Syracuse, New York, 1922. A Personal Account". The article is an account of the appearance in Syracuse of Bix with the "Royal Harmonists of Indiana" and related subjects. The account is personal because Dick is from Syracuse and his father was probably present at one of the appearances of the Royal Harmonists at the Alhambra. An enlargement of a photo taken during the World Series play and published in the Oct 5, 1922 issue of the Syracuse Post-Standard shows pictures which are, according to Dick, of a young Bix and a young Eddie Condon.
It is not impossible that a photo taken at random would include Bix. Weirder things have happened. But what is the likelyhood that the photos of Chicago and of the Syracuse Post-Standard just happened to have caught Bix? Still, it is fascinating to speculate and to indulge in a bit of wishful thinking: could it be Bix?
Thank you, Albert. I'd have to say the images are too grainy for an identification.
The ears certainly look like Bix's, and the hairline is similar, too, and the forehead could be foreshortened a bit by the angle of the head, but there's not enough resolution in the photo to make a call. The same is true of Condon. The height seems right, and the chin is similar, but still, not enough resolution to say.
I'm not familiar with the referenced article and wonder what the "P-S Scoreboard" was. Was it an board which showed play by play results like a scorecard?
I agree with Glenda that the images are too grainy for certain identification.
In the printing process, all photographs at that time and for many years into the future had to be "screened" ie. converted into the minute dots seen in photos under a microscope. This allowed the printing ink to be transferred from the "half tone plate" onto the paper during printing. Unfortunately, this also meant a loss of clarity from the original photograph.
However, we know Bix was in Syracuse at that time.
The fellow in question appears to be around 19 years old, Bix's age then.
The ears, centre parting and round face are similar.
Compare with the upper photo on page 113 in Evans & Evans. There is an uncanny resemblance.
Only by locating the original photo (now almost certainly long lost) could we really be sure.
I agree with Ken on both counts; the person in question certainly could be Bix at age 19, which in itself might account for the difference in the forehead. (I recall a similar discussion on Don Murray's different forehead heights about a year ago.)
The image thought to be Condon easily could be him. Take a look at the image of Condon shown on this link, the third small photo on the right in the middle row, substract a decade or two, and put Condon's customary cap over the forehead, and it's a fair resemblance. The same is true of the similarly angled photo in the middle of row three. Additionally, Eddie was reputed to be about five feet six inches tall, which makes the height difference between the possible Condon and Bix about right. Again, there is no positive ID, but the occurence of these two look alikes so close together makes the theory that Bix and Eddie were there a definite possibility.
Eyes can play tricks on you when you want to see something. That said, it kind of looks like Pee Wee two guys up and to the left of "Condon." I still think there must be some Bix pictures floating around out there.
Andy has a good point. That could be PeeWee's face, long and narrow, with dark hair and brows. Again, the possibility of three possible members of the Alhambra band being in the same place at the same time is intriguing.
Now--we could make the case if someone could come up with youthful photos of Wayne Hostetter and Johnny Eberhardt so that we could see if we can find them in the photo. I found a link to a cemetary for Dr. Burchard Wayne Hostetter, born in 1903, (right age) but no photos. (Condon mentions the anatomy charts and massage equipment that Hostetter, a chiropractor, had brought along with his sax).
The Personnel of the Royal Harmonists of Indiana in Syracuse, 1922
According to Evans and Evans:
Bix Beiderbecke, c; Wayne "Doc" Hostetter, cl, sax, vn; Johnny Eberhardt, sax, vn; Eddie Condon, bj; Mervin "Pee Wee" Rank, d; unknown pianist; plus two other unidentified musicans.
According to Dick Raichelson in "Bix at the Alhambra Ballroom, Syracuse, New York, 1922, A Personal Account, IAJRC Journal, Vol 41, No. 4, Dec 2008.
Bix Beiderbecke, c; Wayne "Doc" Hostetter, cl, sax, vn; Johnny Eberhardt, sax, vn; Eddie Condon, bj; Mervin "Pee Wee" Rank, d; Ralph Neville, or possibly Olen Brost, p. Two more musicans made up this eight-piece band. Their instruments may have been a second cornetist, a trombonist or a third sax.
The "Pee Wee" in the band was not reed player Charles Ellsworth Russell but drummer Mervin Rank.
The Alhambra Hotel, Syracuse, NY.
Ad in the Syracuse Herald, Sep 23, 1922.
To the Wonderful Music
Who will play every
night throughout the
"To the East comes the
best from the West."
wishes all Syracusans to
see the manner in
which the academy is
Admission 50c Plus Tax Per Person
Ad in the Syracuse Herald, Sep 26, 1922.
Dancing Every Evening
UNDER the most careful supervision and rigid observance of conventionalities
to the end that the Alhambra shall be known throughout Central New York as a
dancing academy above reproach. No effort is or shall be spared to make the Alharrbra
a place of refined entertainment for ladies and gentlemen.
"The Royal Harmonists of Indiana"
play nightly a style of music entirely
new in this vicinity that has met
with instant succ«s.
Two Minutes Between Dances No Intermission
Dancing Classes for Beginners
Under the supervision of Prof. Smith of New York now forming
and will open Wednesday, Sept. 27
Instruction from 7:30 to 9 P. M. In Tango,
Fox Trot Tango, Fox Trot, Waltz and all modern
Dancing. Further Information may be secured from
Mr. Morton any evening at the Alhambra.
CHILDREN'S AND YOUNG LADIES' CLASSES
now forming will open Friday, Sept. 33. Instruction from 4:30 to 6
P. M. in Ball Room Dancing, Department, Aesthetic Dancing, etc.
Assembly Hall newly decorated in Alharnbra Bldg for
Admission 50c plus tax per person Balcony 10c
HARRY MORTON, Prop.
Ad in the Syracuse Herald, Oct 4, 1922
Waltz Night At the Alhambra
25 Cents ALHAMBRA 25 Cents
Will be Thursday of This Week
EXCEPT FRIDAY AND SUNDAY 5Oc
EVERY other dance will be a waltz and the feature of the
evening will be "Three o'Clock in the Morning" known
on two continents as the "dance that turned the tide."
It was so named after the Melody, written, by Julian Robledo,
South American exponent of the tango and Dorothy
Ferris, American girl, had taken such a hold upon the
dancing public as to bring the old-style waltz back into
enthusiastic lavor in England and America,
"Three- o'Clock in the Morning" is thefirst real waltz
tune since the days of the "Merry Widow" and "Missouri"
waltzes and will be the big hit of the season as rendered
"Royal Harmonists of Indiana"
Admission. 50o, Plus Tax, Per Person
Harry Morton, Prop.
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 17, 2012 9:38 AM This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 17, 2012 7:30 AM
Get a load of this from the Syracuse Herald of Oct 6, 1922, p. 13.
From Harry E. Norton, proprietor of the Alhambra:
"I wish to again call to the attention of Syracusans
the policy that is and will govern the conduct of the
Alhambra Dancing Academy. I am determined that this
academy will be known as a place of refined entertainment
for ladies and gentlemen. Every possible precaution
is being taken to see that any and all objectionable features
are eliminated. 1 will not tolerate anything that may be the
least offensive to the finer sensibilities of the refined
group of people for whom this academy is conducted."
The Royal Harmonists of Indiana
will play their original interpretation from a famous
opera. This is a special feature for Saturday night and
is in addition to the wonderful dancing program you always
have at the
A L H A M B R A
Dancing Every Evening
ADMISSION 50c (plus tax) PER PERSON
"The Center of Dancing in Syracuse."
I wonder what opera? I looked through the 1920-1922 recordings of Paul Whiteman. I found the following recordings of "classical" pieces. There may be more. I wonder how prevalent was for dance bands in the early 1920s to incorporate their versions of "classical" pieces.
Yes, surely there must be more undiscovered Bix photos around, perhaps in old albums stored away in boxes and cartons up in attics and elsewhere. And that goes for home movie footage too, taken by local Whiteman fans when the boys arrived in their local town on the 1928 Autumn Tour.
The tragedy is that some uninformed person may, when having a clear out, throw these very valuable items out without realizing their worth to jazz history.
The last recording sesssion of the Charleston Chasers took place on Feb 9, 1931, under the direction of Benny Goodman. Four numbers were recorded, two issued under the name of Johnny Walker and His Orchestra. [I don't think that "Johnny Walker" was a real person, just a pseudonym used by Columbia. Spelled Johnnie, it is a popular brand of Scotch whiskey).
151290-3 When Your Lover Has Gone Col 24024-D Re G-21043
151292-1 Walkin' My Baby Back Home Col 24024-D Re G-21038
A remarkable roster of musicians: Benny Goodman, cl, dir; Ruby Weinstein, Charlie Teagarden, t; Glenn Miller, Jack Teagarden, tb; Sid Stoenburn, as; Larry Binyinm, ts; Arthur Schutt, p; Dick McDonough, g; Harry Goodman, sb; Gene Kruopa, d; Paul Small, v.
Listen to the lovely song When Your Lover Has Gone composed by Einar Swan and arranged by Miller..
If I could play a cornet, I would try several of the Bixian solos played on other instruments: what a fascinating experiment it would be. I seem to find more and more examples. Bix had a profound influence on musicians, more than what the conventional jazz literature tells us.
Bix's Influence. The Round Table at the 2003 Ascona Jazz Festival.
A portion of the report by Kim Hart-Poindexter on the Bix round table at the 2003 Ascona Jazz Festival.
The duration of the debate then focused on the real topic, the life story and the impact of Bix on the evolution of jazz. Some participants felt the musical legacy was paramount, while others felt itimpossible to separate the details of the musicians existence from his resulting body of music. Severalfelt that Bix contribution is more significant than he is given credit for [my bold font, AH]; suggestions were made that hiscontribution should have been emphasized in Ken Burns documentary film Jazz, in keeping with aneffort to increase his visibility among musicians and the public in general. Much focus was directed toward specific areas of his creativity, be they his fluid cornet solos or ingenious piano compositions.
Though his existence had a life-altering and dramatic effect on many, some commentators respectfullysuggested that, though his work was significant and skill unquestionable, the brevity of his life and thelimited body of work generated because of this element did not realistically place him on the level ofcertain other masters who affected music consistently over several decades of evolution. He was asignificant contributor, but none-the-less, one of many whose contributions made a difference but
Enthusiastic exchanges took place on Bix musical influences, which included not only his jazzcontemporaries, but also French Impressionists Debussy and Ravel, as well as Stravinsky. Bixsknown sight-reading limitations were believed to be offset by his improvisational skills.
In the end, the bonding of kindred spirits during Tom Pletchers narration of many and fascinatinganecdotes about Bix life and friends, some personally known also to other participants, providedcommon ground for a memorable appreciation of the life of a musical genius by a small but reverentgroup. No matter who the sponsors of the festival are, what other types of music are being playedadjacent stages, and how many people may be unaware of the historical impact of the music they arelistening to, Bix is present in Ascona, so far from his home, so many years later, an influence on morethan are aware. His legacy does indeed endure.
Members of the round table: Randy Sandke, Marty Grosz, Scott Robinson, David Sager, Kenny Davern, Gianpaolo Biagi, Cary Ginell, Michael Kieffer, and, last but not least, Tom Pletcher. Members of the audience who contributed were Andy Stein and Evan Christopher.
Also take a listen to that other Chicago clarinetist, Frank Teschmaker, in his solo on "Liza," overlapping McPartland's, beginning at 1:45. Imagine the notes as if played by Bix. There's a definite influence there to me.
Nov 17, 1921. Matrix 8261 and 8263, issued on Vocalion 14275.
Few of the usual suspects.
Loyd Baker and another, t; Jim Gilliand, tb; Jimmy Duff, cl, as; unknown, as; unknown, ts; Preston Sargeant, p; Ray Kitchingman, bj; Jose Torres, bb; Max McIntosh, d. The unidentified t, as, and ts were played by William Borchers, Fred Conrad, and Francis Longon, but it is not known who played what. From Rust's Jazz Discography.
Thank you for putting that letter up. It's amazing to see this raw data and get a glimpse of what Evans had to wade through and try to make into a cohorent and factual narrative. Historians are a special sort of scholar indeed.
I hope everyone reads the letter because it gives the origin of the unopened records story and also the record recitals that Burnie allegedly used to give ending with a Busse trumpet solo that he mistook for Bix. As you can see, in both cases the truth must have been enhanced for journalistic effect in "Bix Man and Legend"
There is a world of difference between Bix arriving home and finding all his records unopened in their mailing boxes, and what it now seems actually happened: i.e. Esten Spurrier visiting Burnie after Bix had died and commenting that it looked as if the records had not been played. Actually, as anyone who collects 78s will know, a mint 78 still looks mint after several playings ! And the fact that Burnie played When Day is Done as an example of Bix at his best does not mean that he used to play a selection of records to all his visitors finishing up with this one.
Having read the letter again, it is possible that Esten Spurier visited Bix's home while he was still alive, and looked at rhe recordsat that time. It's not totally clear from the letter. However, this does not alter my conclusion. I thought I would post this for the sake of any pedants who may wish to pick up on any points of detail !!!
I agree, Malcolm: Esten's interview and what he told Bruce are of great importanc.
Esten Spurrier: He also said that Bix was a loyal son who always sent every record home, but he (Esten) later went over there to find them all unplayed.
Sudhalter and Evans: This first visit home brought another shock, one which Bix later recounted to Esten Spurrier. "He'd always sent a copy of every record he made home to the folks-a terrific collection and all brand new. He was proud of them and of being with Whiteman. " But a few days at home, he took to brwosing around the house-and found the entire collection in their original mailing boxes, unopened. "That sort of hurt him, though he didn't say a lot about it," said Spurrier.
Ralph Berton: Right from the start of his recording career to its very end, he [Bix] made it a point to mail home the first copy of each of his records as it came out, including, of course, the Whiteman sides, through which he had the most hope of impressing his square German elders-at least they had heard of Whiteman as a Big Name. In vain. We can only try to conceive what his feelings must have been, on coming home during his final convalescence and new-leaf attempt (at the tail end of 1930), full of love an guilt, ready to try again to become ther son, on discovering that not one of them-not even his mother [italicized in original]-had even so much as bothered to listen to one of them. Every record was still in its original envelope, unopened-gathering dust on the top shelf of a closet. They were ashamed of them.
Evans and Evans: Bix's life has been filled with many rumors and colorful stories, none has been more damaging than the "false" story of his finding unopened boxes of records he had sent home over the years. Charles B. Beiderbecke (12/4/59) totally dismissed this story: "Bix never did send home any test pressings or recordings".
Berton: First, the gratuitous insult to Bix's parents. Second, the ability of that genius Berton to read Bix's parents minds ("they were ashamed of him"; how does he know?). Berton never met Bix's parents and he acknowledges that "he [Bix] never uttered a word of criticism agaisnt them." Note that the time of the alleged event is late 1930 and that Berton does no give the source of the story. It is reasonable to assume that it is Esten Spurrier since Berton refers to Spurrier frequently in this section of "Remembering Bix."
Sudhalter and Evans. They date this event to early 1929.
Evans and Evans: Supposedly they were correcting erors in Sudhalter and Evans. But the story of the records is not a Sudhalter invention: it is included in a personal letter from Bruce Foxman to Phil Evans! Moreover, we know that Bix gave a test pressing of Tiger Rag to his mother.
In my opinion, the story of the unopened boxes of records is, at least, an exaggeration. I can't see Bix's life style being consistent with Bix systematically making certain his parents received a copy of every record he made. Can anyone? Maybe there were a couple of unopened boxes, maybe the unopened boxes of records were NORK records found by Marshall Stearns when he visited Bix's parents in the mid 1930s. But I seriously doubt that Bix "always sent a copy of every record he made home to the folks."
Finally, Berton's emphasis on Bix's mother not listening to Bix's records is pure, unadulterated crap. How would Bix's mother, as discovered by the late Rich Johnson, be able to tell a reporter "The air is carried out by the other cornetist but the sudden perky blare and the unexpected trills-those are the jazz parts and they are Leon's."
"Finding them all unplayed" is very different from "The entire collection in their original mailing boxes, unopened." Malcolm is right: A record played only once or twice on a windup phonograph is as good as "unplayed." I'd more surprised if the records had been played to death.
Well, how about this! I don't know how good the read is going to be, and it's a fiction contemporary American mystery of the "Trash 'n' Treasures" series. The book is called Antiques Disposal, by Barbara Allan.
Now, lately flea market and antique store mystery books have been very popular -- there are quite a few series out there, and my sister loves to read them since she's an Ebay/antiques store dealer.
I was browsing on Amazon for the new revised expanded edition of Jelly Roll,Bix and Hoagy which is supposed to be released Janaury 2012, and just typing in Bix Beiderbecke under the books heading, this little novel was listed. In my Search Inside, this story seems to be about an antiques dealer divorcee and her elderly mom discovering what is supposed to be Bix's cornet [yeah yeah, we'll all giggle and snort and roll our eyes, but it's just a story and it's not bad writing from what I'm reading -- certainly not a vanity press book like that awful thing I bought --and promptly, contemptuously discarded-- around 5 years ago.]
So, it might be cute, or amusing, or downright fun. I don't suspect I'll feel ripped off since the reviews are a jolly reaction and this writer has a series out -- it doesn't appear to be hack writing, at any rate.
Sort of those speculative "What if" stories, "Wouldn't it be neat if someone junk-hunting found an unknown artifact of Bix's, and all sorts of collectors wanted in on it and mischief ensues. . .. "
Thanks, Laura, for the heads-up on Antiques Disposal, featuring a possible find of one of Bix's cornets. What a great hook for a book for Bix fans!
You caught me at a vulnerble moment, bookwise. My Kindle happened to be freshly charged; I'd just finished a book and didn't have one waiting; and it's the time of year when I like to read a few mysteries. So...I just downloaded the book! It'll be nice to compare our take on this one.
(It's number 54,208 in sales on Amazon, which is pretty high for series mystery fiction.)
Sigh. Okay, I'm a bibliophile and a Bixophile; I freely admit to both. But why do I get suckered in, each and every time, some promised novel breathes even the word "Bix" (do you know the Brits have a pancake or cereal mix called Wheatabix? Gee, what am I going to do next, send overseas for a box just so I can get all excited reading the package?)
So, anyway, knowing it was going to be a cutsie-poo book, I still sent for it, and the non-novel went beyond cutsie-poo. I can just imagine the oh-so-clever husband and wife team snickering and pleasedly snorting to one another while they bent over the computer tapping it out -- "Hey honey, look at this! We'll have the guy who's running the auction of old storage sheds have a Southern Drawl! Hahahaha! Let's have the snotty guy who runs the antique store in East Davenport Village snarl, "Oh, it's you," when the flea-market sleuth and her elderly eccentric mom come in! Heeheeheeheehee!"
Well, it wasn't terribly funny. And for all the overwrought "hilarious" dialogue, I was yawning and flipping pages. Sure, they mentioned Bixie. And his cornet. And his grandparents. And that was about all. They were mentioned. Now, mention in the novel of the Beiderbecke family aside, if there'd been a story of some depth, and some characters of some development, I still would have read the thing -- I've always got my nose in some book or other, even sneaking in the office during down time.
Antiques Disposaleven as light take to the beach reading, was so vapid that characters and their motives in the plot of a TV sitcom or detective program are more developed, for heavens sake. And the husband of this author team won all these awards for his scripts and his graphic novel Road to Perdition? (I saw the movie, and had that predictable plot figured out in the first 5 minutes).
The story was so thin that Bixs name and cornet could have been replaced with any musician and instrument, and it would be exactly the same story. Maybe because these people are Iowans from that region, they couldnt help but know at least about Bix, and figured it would make sense to have an historically famous musician from that area in the story they wrote, but the silly, empty non-plot was just a lot of oh-so-clever-and-cutely-humorous dialogue, people getting whapped right and left, and a TV show wrap-up, with lots of references to the other books in the series, a la Nancy Drew.
Wheres the pretty, atmospheric Iowa I like to see photographs of and read about? The book was DEVOID of any description of people and places aside from the most cursory, sketchily executed referral to what the Bix Museum (Putnam)? looked like, and the deserted storage sheds flea market vendors bid on. This non-novel was even emptier and sillier and more amateurishly written than the other junk dealer antique collector murder mystery series by other authors Ive looked at my sisters books.
Why, WHY is it that people who cant write, who lack any talent at all, get published and lauded all over the place? Its so BAFFLING
I know Im being a caustic turd, but it's not so much troubling and annoying, as it is rather frustrating to have these little mosquito non-novels floating about, the junk food of the book world. I'd compare it to half of an empty eggshell filled with -- not whipped cream, but Cool Whip. . . . fake 'n' superficial non-dairy dessert topping.
And so I don't come across as a totally unbearable snob, I LOVE to read junk and trash, honest. I love lurid confessionals and peeking into tabloids -- especially the old-timey ones from 80-90 years ago. There's just gotta be something there to read, though, you know?
I guess we'd all get more out of reading a dry cleaning receipt dug out of one of Bix's coat pockets than trying to fit his name into the plot of a cute-n-clever mystery series book. At least that's REAL.
One of the fascinating features of jazz and dance band musicians of the 1920s is what we have called here the iceberg effect, 10 % known, 90 % submerged in the unknown past. Jack Mollick is a good example. If we only had recorded output and jazz discographies, we would have stated that Jack make a number of recordings in the 1920s with Fred Hall, and that would be all. Thanks to the internet and to Jack's granddaughter Rikki, we now know about Jack's distinguished career in the the 1930s and 1940s.
PS One of the postings mentions that Ray Mitchell in his Eddie Lang discography gives Mannie Klein, Jack Mollick, tpts for the Nov 23, 1931 Bing Crosby recording of Where the Blue of the Night. Any further news about this? If confirmed, I will add this piece of information to Jack's webpage.
Albert, Ray Mitchell (p. 311-12) includes Mollick in the following November 23, 1931 recordings: Bennie Krueger's "She's So Nice" and "Why Did It Have to be Me" (Br 6222, BrE 1260, BrG A9193) and "Bing's Where the Blue of the Night" (Br 6226 and elswhere). Need more detail?
The Last Venuti-Lang Recording Session Under Their Own Names.
On Feb 28, 1933, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Jimmy Dorsey, Adrian Rollini and Phil Wall went to the Columbia recording studios in New York City and waxed four excellent sides under the name of Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang's Blue Five.
265066 Raggin' the Scale Col 2765-D 265067 Hey! Young Fellow! Col (E) CB 601 265068 Jig Saw Puzzle Blues Col 2782 265069 Pink Elephants Col (E) CB 601
Joe, Eddie, Jimmy and Adrian were Bix's buddies and recorded several sides with him. Pianist Phil Wall was a buddy of Sylvester Ahola and made several recordings with Paul Specht.
Here is a short review of these four recordings in the 1957 issue of Gramophone. (OCR introduces errors. AH)
This kind of intimate jazz has not staled with the years ; instead it has taken on a mellowness that makes listening to it in the hubbub of today a refreshing experience. The giant Rollini, so recently removed from our ken, is at his versatile best here, and we take a sad farewell forever on record of Eddie Lang as a soloist. Venuti is the master technician as ever, never using his ability as an end for getting cheap applause, and the overall effect is almost unique in jazz for the restrained gaiety it suggests. Jimmy Dorsey is a bit show-off, even resembling Rudy Wiedoeft in places, but to offset this there is the Venuti-Lang-Rollini triumvirate that never fails.
Here are Eddie Lang specialist Mike Peters' notes in the Mosaic set on Venuti and Lang.
For what would be the final Venuti-Lang recording session, Joe and Eddie brought together two of the greatest instrumentalists of the previous decade. Both Jimmy Dorsey and Adrian Rollini had contributed stunning performances and several earlier Blue Four dates, but they had never recorded together under Joe and Eddie's leadership until now. The results produced fireworks. It is arguably their greatest session as an ensemble, and with it, Venuti and Lang perfected their concept of interpreting jazz with a wind and string ensemble. Each three-minute side is a study in small group arranging, interpretation and collective and individual performance. They use every element of the Venuti-Lang formula to perfection. The repertoire has them taking a look back while also making strides forward as they gloriously rearrange two current pop songs, they invent one classic, and concoct a last minute original. Joe and Eddie had already recorded Raggin' the Scale in 1930 with a quartet that included Rollini. Three years later, expanded to a quintet, they produced a masterpiece. (Of note: the final sixteen bars has Joe and Jimmy going at it together over the pulsating rhtym section. Perfection!) When Venuti heard Dorsey's clarinet play the opening strain of Hey! Young Fella in 1977 (having last heard the record some five decades earlier), he bellowed out the son's title and said "I got fifty potatoes (dollars) for recording that." He then sat listening in silence as the record played on, obviously satisfied with the results. (That's Joe playing bass for the chorus behind Rollini's vibe). Fans of the pop group Fleetwood Mac may recognize the title Jigg Saw Puzzle Blues. In 1968, Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan swiped parts of Jimmy Dorseu's clarinet solo and built a song around it. The 1933 original recording features 12 bars of single-string guitar that starts out bluesy but ends in a string of notes. When it came to showing off one's chops, few could compete with Jimmy Dorsey. A master of the reeds and a very good cornet player, Dorsey struts his stuff on Pink Elephants. By the introduction you can appreciate the depth at which musicians related to each other as they seamlessly set up the song by trading one-bar phrases. Few did it better. (MP)
A foursome of masterpieces by a quintet of masters, among my favorite recordings in the whole world.
Hot music fans in the audience at the premiere of the film "King of Jazz" at the Roxy Cinema in New York, while generally disappointed that none of Whiteman's famous Victor or Columbia recordings were featured in the picture, did at least get to see and hear Joe and Eddie perform a few bars of "Wild Cat" in the film.
Re: The Last Venuti-Lang Recording Session Under Their Own Names.
Oh, I love the swipes at Jimmy Dorsey. "Show off?" I suppose that would also refer to the fact that in "Jig Saw Puzzle Blues," he delivers a competent trumpet solo (easy for a reedman?), and then within three seconds switches to clarinet for a fine solo on that instrument as well, one of my favorites.
I'm sure if Lang and Venuti had wanted Goodman, they could have had him. Maybe that would have satisfied the author.
There's always some crab to over-analyze what's not there. I hear superb music by all concerned and a fine valedictory session for Lang as soloist, but what do I know?
In one of Bix's letters home, he asked his parents if they had heard the "Candlelight Program" or words to that affect. I assume someone in the forum knows to what Bix was referring?
Best wishes to all,
Bix's composition "Candlelights" (with an s) was copyrighted on August 29, 1929. It was played by Lennie Hayton and Arthur Schutt in the Camel Pleasure Hour broadcast of September 3, 1930.
When I first read the PS in Bix's letter of March 4, 1931, I thought perhaps he could be referring to a more recent Camel Pleasure Hour program where "Candlelights" might have been performed. [This is Jean-Pierre Lion's hypothesis, a reasonable possibility.] On the othe hand, Bix refers to a "Candlelight" (no s) program. However, Bix was a terrible speller. So all this is totally inconclusive.
I looked through a whole bunch of internet sites dedicated to "Old Radio" but found not a single mention of a "Candlelight" program.
This may be another of the unsolved mysteries in Bixology.
The First Newspaper Announcements of the Camel Pleasure Hour
The premiere of the Camel Pleasure Hour took place on June 4, 1930 over the NBC network.
Producer: John Wiggin. Director: Charles Previn. Announcer: John Young. Contractor: Nat Shilkret.
Bix was one of the members of one of the orchestras. Other members with connections to Bix were Charlie Margulis, Leo McConville, the Dorsey Brothers, Min Leibrook, Carl Kress, Lennie Hayton, and Arthur Schutt.
Here are some announcements of the program in a couple of newspapers.
Charleston Daily Mail, June 1, 1930.
Seven outstanding figures of the stage und microphone, augmented by two orchestras and an 18-voicechorus, will inaugurate the Camel Pleasure hour through an extensive National network Wednesday night. Heading the list of those presentingthe program, which will be broadcast for an hour each Wednesday, starting at 9:30 p. m., will be Helen Kane, Doc. Rockwell, Reinald Werrenrath, Willard Robison, Mary McCoy, Charles Previn and Billy Hughes.
Burlington Hawkeye, June 1, 1930.
A brilliant new radio hour, with unique features and exceptional talent will have its air premiere Wednesday night, June 4, at 7:30 CST. The new program will be knovwn as the Camel Pleasure Hour and is sponaored by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
0n the premiere of the new hour, Helen Kane, "Dr." Rockwell, Reinald Werrenrath and Willard Robison will divide honors. "Doc" Rockwell, for years one of Broadway's famous moneymakers, will be "master of ceremonies." As headliner of many great stage revues, Rockwell is regarded as one of America's foremost humorists. Reinald Werrenrath. the distinguished baritone, will be a fixed star of the Camel Pleasure Hour as will Willard Robistm and hisfamous Deep River orchestra.
We know about Helen Kane and Willard Robison. Here is some information about Werrenrath and Rockwell.
The New York Times obituary for Reinald Werrenwrath, Sep 13, 1953.
Obituary, New York Times, Sunday, September 13, 1931, pg 85
Aug. 7, 1883 Brooklyn Kings County New York, USA
Sep. 12, 1953 Plattsburgh Clinton County New York, USA
Werrenrath Dies; Radio Singing Star Baritone Who Was Heard in 20's Made Concert Appearances, Owned Music School Plattsburg, N, Y, Sept. 12 AP Reinald Werrenrath, concert and radio singing star of the Nineteen Twenties, died today in Physicians Hospital here. He was 70 years old. He had been staying at his summer home at near-by Chazy Lake when he suffered a heart attack a month ago and was admitted to the hospital. Son of Danish Tenor Reinald Werrenrath was born in Brooklyn August 7, 1883. He was the son of Charles (sic, the father was George) Werrenrath, a Danish tenor who made joint appearances in Paris with Gounod and who came to Brooklyn as a tenor soloist at Henry Ward Beecher's Plymouth church. His grandfather, John Peter Werrenrath, was well known in Denmark as a song interpreter. His mother, Aretta Camp Werrenrath, was a church and concert singer. With this family background, it was inevitable that young Reinald should turn to singing. He studied first with his father, then with Carl Dufft, Frank King Clark, Dr. Arthur Mees, and Percy Rector Stephens. At New York University, Mr. Werrenrath was soloist with the glee club. With William LeBaron and Deems Taylor, he collaborated on a musical, "The Eternal Question." Mr. Werrenrath made his oratorical debut in 1907 at the Worcester Festival singing Hans Sachs' monologue from "Die Meistersinger." His Metropolitan Opera debut took place February 19, 1919, when he sang Silvio in "Pagliacci," in a cast that included Florence Easton and Enrico Caruso. Later that season he sang Valentin in "Faust" and Escamillo in "Carmen." He did not return to the Metropolitan the next season and thereafter confined himself to concert, oratorio and radio appearances. He was one of the earliest starts of radio, singing regularly over station WEAF, which later became part of the N.B.C. network. During the years 1932-33 he was a member of N.B.C.'s music staff in this city. Mr. Werrenrath concertized widely throughout the United States and in his later years devoted himself to teaching. For several seasons he had conducted a summer music school at Chazy Lake. His last public appearance in this city was made October 23, 1952, when he sang a joint recital at Carnegie Recital Hall with Tom Donahue, tenor. In 1909 he married Ada Petersen. The couple had three children, George Hans, Mrs. Carleton B. Hutchins, Jr., and Reinald, Jr. The couple was divorced in 1927. The following year Mr. Werrenrath married Verna True Nidig, from whom he separated in 1939 and was divorced in 1941. He married Frances M. Aston in 1942.
Doc Rockwell, form Wikipedia.
George Lovejoy "Doc" Rockwell (1889-1978) was an American vaudeville performer and radio personality.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Rockwell was a fast-talking "nut comic" who developed an act as a lecturing doctor, sometimes with a stethoscope and an oversized five-foot banana as props, billed as "Doc Rockwell - Quack! Quack! Quack!".
One sign of Rockwell's surprising success was his appearances as the headline act at the Palace Theater in New York, the single most coveted booking in vaudeville. Rockwell headlined at the Palace not once but six times, the first in April 1925, the last in May 1932.
In the 1930s he also appeared on the inaugural bill at the Radio City Music Hall (on December 27, 1932), at the Ziegfeld Theater, and in a single musical comedy film, 1937's The Singing Marine. In 1939 Rockwell had his own short-lived national radio show on NBC, and through the 1940s he was a frequent guest on the radio show of his friend Fred Allen.
For many years after his retirement from performing, Doc Rockwell contributed a humor column to Down East Magazine, published in his adopted state of Maine. He had the last page from shortly after the magazine's founding in 1954 to his death. Doc always ended his column with "Maker of fine cigar ashes since 1889."
From the Wisconsin State Jouranl, Jul 7, 1930. Bix was there!
O.K. Strike Up The
Band! Here Comes
Suspenders Trailing, Doc Beats Clock in Wild Dash To Studio
Eccentric costumes, for obvious reasons. hare never been the standard equipment of radio comedians. But Dr. Rockwell, "down east" wit of the Camel Pleasure hour, has introduced the mode. Recently he burst into the NBC studios clad in an old green raincoat, with collar turned up, opera pumps and full dress trousers, and undershirt and trailing suspenders as the final gestures ot nonchalance. Here's the story. It was 9:27 o'clock. In three minutes the Camel program would be on the air. Theorchestra tuned; visitors shifted expectantly; John S. Young listened through his announcer's headphones and watched his lights for the program cue; and John Wlggin, production man, mentally called the roll ot participants. Suddenly he gasped.
Call the Doctor
"Where's Rockwell?" No one knew. At the telephone, a casual voice answered from the other end. "No, Dr. Rockwell hasn't left for the NBC. It's only 9:00 o'clock." "You're mistakenit's 9:27!" "Good Lord," and the receiver slammed. Exactly nine minutes later, a weird apparition dashed into the lobby ot the NBC building, knocking down three brass posts in his mad flight to the elevator, In the meantime, the program had begun. The opening announcements, the overture and one orchestral selection had taken up six ot the sixty minues, and Dr. Rockwell's first cue was at hand. By this time, John
S. Young was racking his brain for something to say. "Wisecrack, stall, say something funny," the program sponsors were urging him. And Young was trying to formulate some remark about walking a mile with Dr. Rockwell.
Without a Shirt
At this very instant with the incredible punctuality of such accidents. Dr. Rockwell broke into the studio. Raincoat and suspenders flying, he weaved his way through the orchestral setup to his little table, whispering hoarsely, "I'm here, I'm here," and waving his handful of notes to indicate complete readiness to take the air. He flopped into hischair, and began talking to a coast-to-coast audience. So "Doc" Rockwell served the Camel Pleasure hour without his shirt Say what you will about his raincoat, and dragging suspenders. In one point he was impeccably groomed. His hair was parted perfectly.
How Famous Contralto
Met Radio Soprano
A happy reunion occurred recently in the New York studios of the National Broadcasting company when Mary McCoy and Mme. Schumann- Heink met. Several years ago on one of her American tours the great German artist was in Kansas City. From the loud speaker in her hotel suit came the appealing voice of a girl. Immediately Mme. Schumann- Heinck was interested. She asked to see the performer. This interview led Mary McCoy, who it was who was singing over the radio, to join the famous contralto's entourage for the remainder of the tour. The inspiration of thisassociation largely is responsible for the success Miss McCoy has enjoyed in recent years, the young artist declares. Since the time Mary McCoy first met the grand old lady of opera, she has starred in several Broadway musical comedy hits and appears regularly as the featured soprano in a number of National Broadcasting company programs. Mme. Schumann- Heinck, though a great-grandmother and nearly 70 years old. is today enthusiastic .over the future possibilities ot radio in bringing the best stagers to the homes of the public.
From the Toledo News, Aug 20, 1930, the column titled
"This and That From the Radio World"
"A Column of Little Things of Interest That Have To Do With Broadcasting"
by Ted Magee.
In my previous posting I cited Lennie and Arthur as two pianists in the Camel Pleasure Hour. The column gives fascinating information about these two outstanding pianists.
After each weekly broadcast of the Camel Pleasure Hour, the sponsors of the program receive numerous letters about the two-piano team that is one of the features of the hour. Not long ago Leonard Hayton and Arthur Schutt were two young music students a New York University. [Really? I don't think so. AH] They did not know each other but after being thoroughly grounded in the musical classics, each separately took up the piano. Their individual playing won them positions with Paul Whiteman, Roger Kahn [no Wolfe. AH] and other famous leaders. Just before the launching of the Camel Pleasure Hour this year, the two young pianists met [Arthur was 27 and Lennie was 22. AH] and shortly after were signed as a piano duo. Since their first performance in the Camel Pleasure Hour they have built up a reputation as one of the best teams on the air. Hayton ans Schutt's next performance with the Camel Pleasure Hour will be Wednesday evening at 8:30from WJR and associated NBC stations. Mary McCoy and Bily Hughes, Reinald Werrenrath, Willard Robison, the Camel Quartet and Glee Club will be on the prgram.
The full program follows.
The Campbells Are Comin' Girl Trouble Sweetheart The Free and Easy I've Got It But I Don't Do Me No Good I'm Doing That Thing Spain - Tango March of the Grenadiers Just a Little Closer How I Wish I Could Sing A Love Song Soliloquy Songs of Araby Selections From Apple Blossoms Down the River of Golden Dreams Singin' In A Hammock Yellow Dog Blues Mary Lou Fuzzy-Wuzzy
Arthur and Lennie played Bix's "Candlelights" in the Camel Pleasure Hour broadcast of September 3, 1930, four days after Bix copyrighted his piano composition.
The song Organ Grinder's Swing was composed by Will Hudson with lyrics by the great Mitchell Parrish and music impresario Irving Mills.
It is based on the children's song I Love Coffee, I Love Tea.
The tune was recorded several times in 1936, in the US, England, Germany and France by the Hudson/De Lange orchestra, Joe Haymes, Tempo King, Hal Kemp, Frank Froeba (Rob, with Bunny Berigan), Benny Goodman, Ambrose (with Danny Polo). The definitive vocal version is by Ella Fitzgerald.
Listen to Jimmy Lunceford's version (played last night in Rich Conaty's Big Broadcast). The "Geechie Call" comes in at 1:59.
I am taking a vacation beinning on Monday, and will not be back until the end of the month. So I am uploading WBIX # 199 a bit ahead of schedule. Radio Program # 199. (loaded on 05/19/2012) Sylvester Ahola Recordings. 55 min 29 sec
mp3 files Streaming mp3 file http://bixography.com/wbixmp3/WBIX199.m3u Download file 66.6 MBbixography.com/wbixmp3/WBIX199.mp3 Horses. The Georgians.Vocal by Johnny Morris. April 13, 1926. Spring Is Here. The Georgians.Vocal by Johnny Morris. April 13, 1926. How Long Has This Been Going On. Harry Hudson's Melody Men. Vocal by Harry Hudson. April 20, 1928. Miss Annabelle Lee. Louise.Harry Hudson's Melody Men. Vocal by Joe Leigh. April 20, 1928. My Kinda Love. Philip Lewis and His Dance Band. Vocal by Maurice Elwin.June 20, 1929. My Troubles Are Over. Philip Lewis and His Dance Band. Vocal by Maurice Elwin.June 20, 1929. After My Laughter Came Tears. Rhythmic Eight.Vocal by Maurice Elwin.May 7, 1928. Reaching for Someone. Rhythmic Eight.September 23, 1929. That's A Plenty. Rhythm Maniacs. October 25, 1929. Why Can't You. Rhythm Maniacs. Vocal by Elsie Carlisle. August 23, 1929. I'm In the Market for Love. Ambrose. Vocal by Sam Browne. April 24, 1930. Good Evening. Ambrose. Vocal by Sam Browne. September 26, 1930. WBIX # 200 will be uploaded on June 29, 2012.
Enjoyed it immensely. My dear wife and I celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary. You ain't heard nothing yet: We went steady beginning in 1949 when we met as teenagers in college. Here we are, two octogenarians, 63 years later.
I think can get you some information about Art Landry and his brother Ed. But I am not clear as to what you want. Below I copied a brief biographical sketch for Art from allmusic.com You probably have this already.
I don't know about the Skyways orchestra. I read about his TV programs broadcast over WCAX. For example, I saw listings of the program in 1956 and 1957; it was telecast daily at 2:30 pm and was titled "Open House - Art Landry." You probably know this also.
I believe that the report (in the article below and in the redhotjazz site) that Don Murray and Stan King made recordings with Art Landry is in error. None of the common discographies list Murray or King in Landry's recordings.
Art and Ed Landry have a few recordings together; these are from 1922 with the Mardi Gras Sextette, directed by Norman Thiess and including Boyce Cullen on trombone, a musician who overlapped with Bix in the Whiteman orchestra. Cullen and Bix rented a house in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, in the summer of 1929. Cullen was one of the musicians in Bix's last recordings in Sep 1930.
Here is the Art Landry Orchestra in 1922.
Equally adept with alto saxophone, clarinet, and violin, Art Landry led a jazzy little dance band during the 1920s that made records which are comparable with the best offerings from bandleaders Sam Lanin, Isham Jones, Jean Goldkette, and Paul Specht. Landry was born in Montreal in 1896. Classically trained as a violinist, he served in the U.S. Marines with saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft. In 1918, they took themselves to San Francisco where they performed with bands led by Art Hickman and Paul Whiteman. Landry also made a point of sitting in with African-American groups in the district known as the Barbary Coast. By 1922 he was leading his own orchestra, which for awhile spent much of its time on the road. Legend has it that while touring with the band, Landry made a point of circulating among the crowd during the first part of each engagement, observing dancers and absorbing the mood of the local population.
Landry made his first recordings in 1923 for the Gennett label with an eight-piece unit variously billed as his Call of the North Orchestra, his Syncopatin' Six, his Commodore Band, or the Regent Orchestra. Key members of this group were clarinet and sax man Don Murray (best remembered for his work with Bix Beiderbecke) and hot jazz drummer Stan King, then mostly active as a member of the California Ramblers. It was during this period that Landry befriended New Orleans cornetist and bandleader Joe "King" Oliver. Like his Barbary Coast adventures, a friendly series of interactions with Oliver and other musicians of color clearly influenced Landry and resulted in his best jazz recordings. Drummer Howard Emerson and banjoist Sam Carr, in fact, claimed to have sat in with Oliver's group just hours after making records with Landry.
In 1924, Art Landry's Orchestra played the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, and made its first Victor recordings in Oakland. Over the next three years, at least 28 sides were waxed for this label under his name. Several important musicians worked with Landry's band, including pianist Joe Reichman, later known as the Pagliacci of the Piano; arranger and multi-reed player Lyle "Spud" Murphy, as well as pianist and songwriter Jerry Livingston (nee Levinson), who went on to compose important airs like "Fuzzy Wuzzy," "Mairzy Doats," and the Bugs Bunny theme song. Landry's biggest recorded hits were "Dreamy Melody", "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue," and "Sleepy Time Gal."
During the late 20s, Landry ran a successful booking agency with offices up above the Paramount Theatre at 43rd and Broadway in Times Square. Subsequently, he led radio broadcast bands and toured with theater pit orchestras. He was successfully employed in the television industry for which he composed themes used in educational videos for children, and taught music in the Ticonderoga, New York public school system. Late in life, he essentially turned his home into a music store. He and his wife Ann hosted a TV show on WCAX in Vermont, and then moved to Florida. When Landry passed away in Sarasota at the age of 94, he was survived by his second wife Peggy Jean and his brother Eddie, a singer, string bassist, tuba handler, and veteran of Gus Arnheim's Cocoanut Grove Orchestra. Ed Landry and Zip Keyes also show up on records made in the late 30s with a dance band under the direction of Abe Lyman.
Well, after a few month's work on and off, here it is, as promised: CD and digital issues of Frank Teschemacher. Here goes.
McKENZIE & CONDON'S CHICAGOANS
W-82030-A - Sugar
W-82031-B - China Boy
W-82082-B - Nobody's Sweetheart
W-82083-A - Liza
Available on "Jazz From The Windy City", Timeless CBC1-021. Out of print, but downloadable from online music stores including iTunes and 7digital. Perfectly good transfers, very happy with them.
Also available on Eddie Condon - The Classic Sessions Volume 1: Making Friends - JSPCD906A (which is now unfortunately also out of print). The transfers on JSPCD906A are definitely fresh transfers, made from different discs as those used for "Jazz From The Windy City", the surfaces are generally less grainy sounding, the transfers a little brighter, but the trade off is a short scrape (sounds for 4 turns) in China Boy during Jimmy McPartland's solo that isn't heard on Jazz From The Windy City. I'd prefer the JSPCD906A transfers if you can find them easily, as they're just that bit better than those found on CBC1-021. Both sets are the work of John RT Davies, but he must have found better discs in the intervening years.
CHARLES PIERCE & HIS ORCHESTRA
20399-1 - Bull Frog Blues
20400-3 - China Boy
20469-5 - Jazz Me Blues
20470-7 - Sister Kate
20534-2 - Nobody's Sweetheart
Available on Jazz From The Windy City, Timeless CBC1-021. Out of print on CD, but downloadable from online music stores including iTunes and 7digital. (NB: Jazz From The Windy City includes both the Altier/Bercov and Spanier/Feige/Teschemacher versions of Jazz Me Blues and Sister Kate). Very good transfers, John RT Davies has these Paramounts sounding as good as they can, without much extraneous noise.
NB: The CD of "Jazz From the Windy City" has the takes mislabled. The track order listed on the slick is:
7. Jazz Me Blues -3 (Altier/Bercov)
8. Sister Kate -4 (Altier/Bercov)
9. Jazz Me Blues -5 (Muggsy/Tesch)
10. Sister Kate -7 (Muggsy/Tesch)
but on the actual disc it is
7. Jazz Me Blues -5 (Muggsy/Tesch)
8. Sister Kate -7 (Muggsy/Tesch)
9. Jazz Me Blues -3 (Altier/Bercov)
10. Sister Kate -4 (Altier/Bercov)
The takes are easily identified by 1) the much higher standard of playing on the Muggsy & Tesch takes (everyone is far more confident, and the tempos are faster) and 2) Jack Read's trombone, present on the Muggsy/Tesch takes but absent on the Altier/Bercov takes. The download on the iTunes store is as listed for the disc, but the takes are not labelled.
CHICAGO RHYTHM KINGS
C-1885-A - There'll Be Some Changes Made
C-1886-A - I've Found A New Baby
Both available on "Jazz From The Windy City", Timeless CBC1-021 and Eddie Condon - The Classic Sessions Volume 1: Making Friends - JSPCD906A. Sounds like the same discs were used for the transfer as "Jazz From The Windy City", but the EQ is a little brighter and "brassier" on the JSP disc. Both transfers seem a touch flat to my ear, and raising them by 1.10% set them right for me (1.10% is the difference between 78.26 and 79.12 RPM). This seemed to help more than just the pitch, to my ear the rhythm section just seems that bit more insistent with the speed raised that little bit. I've certainly got used to the faster version now, and the CDs seem sluggish.
20563-2 - Friar's Point Shuffle
20564-2 - Darktown Strutters' Ball
Both available on "Jazz From The Windy City", Timeless CBC1-021 and Eddie Condon - The Classic Sessions Volume 1: Making Friends - JSPCD906A. The same discs were used for both CD sets (there are telltale "thuds" in identical positions), but the EQ is a little brighter on the JSP disc. However on these poorer quality Paramount recordings this verges on shrill, so I would lean towards the Jazz from The Windy City transfers. This however presents a slight issue, as both sides are a little flat in pitch to my ear on Jazz from The Windy City, and in correct pitch and speed on the JSP disc. In this case you'd have to make a decision: slightly shrill and in pitch or easier on the ear and flat (or alternatively speed the Jazz From The Windy City transfers up by 1.5% if you know how to do that [1.49% if you must])
FRANK TESCHEMACHER'S CHICAGOANS
C-1906-A Jazz Me Blues
Available on Eddie Condon - The Classic Sessions Volume 1: Making Friends - JSPCD906A. The same disc was used for the transfer as "Jazz From The Windy City" (there are telltale clicks in identical positions), but the EQ is a little duller on the JSP disc, and frankly sounds a little better for it - less distortion. Again, this runs a smidge faster (and as such sharper), and in correct pitch on the JSP disc.
Aside: does anyone have any idea if the original Brunswick test pressing of this still exists? This transfer sounds a lot like the UHCA 61 dub to my ears.
CHICAGO/LOUISIANA RHYTHM KINGS
C-1907-B Baby Won't You Please Come Home
Available on Jazz From The Windy City, Timeless CBC1-021. Out of print, but downloadable from online music stores including iTunes and 7digital.
Aside: does anyone have any idea if the original Brunswick test pressing of this still exists? This transfer sounds significantly better than the transfer of Jazz Me Blues to my ears.
MIFF MOLE AND HIS LITTLE MOLERS
W-400849-C - One Step To Heaven
W-400850-A - Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble
Available on "Slippin Around: Volume 1", Frog Records DGF19. In print as at March 2012. Superb transfers by John RT Davies. Not much more needs to be said!
EDDIE CONDON'S QUARTET
W-400899-A - Oh Baby
W-401035-A - Indiana
Available on "All Star Jazz Quartets: Disc B", JSP925B and Eddie Condon - The Classic Sessions Volume 1: Making Friends - JSPCD906A. Unsuprisingly these have the same digital source - the waveforms line up perfectly and remain in perfect synchronisation throughout - but the version on "Making Friends" has been EQd a little brighter, and something in the process has made the left and right channels slightly different - stereo digital EQ processing perhaps? I'm not saying there's been any kind of fake stereo processing attempted, far from it. But something in the digital chain has caused a very slight difference between the channels. I favour the "Making Friends" version, due to the slightly kinder EQ, but there is nothing at all wrong with the "All Star Jazz Quartets" version at all. Both are excellent transfers by John RT Davies. If you're making a compilation of your own and are using the "Making Friends" version, convert the stereo tracks to mono first.
DORSEY BROTHERS ORCHESTRA
W-401169-B - Round Evening
W-401170-B - Out Of The Dawn
Available on "The Dorsey Brothers Volume 1", Jazz Oracle BDW 8004. In print as at March 2012. Excellent transfer by John RT Davies. There's a slight swish on both tracks, but maybe that was on the master, who knows. I've never heard a 78 of these sides so i'm in no position to judge. It doesn't take away from the music at all.
Take -A was nigh on impossible to find on CD - The transfer on "Classic Jazz Vol 061" made for difficult listening to my ears, as did the couple of versions on the iTunes store (not summed to mono, poor transfers etc.) The best version I could find online was Emrah's version on youtube - even with a bit of digital noise in the background this transfer has more respect for to the music than any other I've heard. Head over to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tlWqDFVMv8 for this and raise the quality to 480p, and i'm sure you can finf a way of obtaining the audio from YouTube videos if you look hard enough online.
For my compilation I tracked down a near store stock copy of Parlophone R2541 and transferred it. I'm now on the hunt for a good Okeh or other laminated pressing to improve my transfer.
Take -B is available on "Tommy Dorsey: The Sentimental Gentleman Of Swing Centennial Collection", Bluebird/Legacy 82876711672. I believe this may be out of print but it's still available on the UK and USA iTunes store (but sadly not my local Australian itunes store, and to get it on the USA iTunes store you need to shell out $25 for all 70 tracks). It was transferred by either Matt Cavaluzzo or Harry Coster from an Okeh test pressing, and it sounds like a little noise reduction has been used - but it is not overdone at all and the utmost respect has been paid to the music. A fine transfer.
My favoured version of Take -C was from "The Chocolate Dandies 1928-33" Disques Swing/DRG CDSW 8448, which appears to be out of print. This is an older transfer, probably made from the best copy of Parlophone R-365 or A-2654 that could be located at the time. Appears to have been transferred before the advent of digital noise reduction - which means that while there are more crackles than you'd expect on a modern transfer, one could possibly add a low pass filter or perform further processing on this transfer (for your own listening, of course). Very respectful to the music, but slightly hampered by technological deficiencies at the time of transfer. There's no remastering credit on this. As with Take A, the versions available in online stores make for difficult listening.
If you have trouble telling the three takes apart, the easiest way is to listen to the band re-entry after Tesch's tenor sax solo. On Take -A, it's messy - nobody is really ready for it, and the band don't enter together. On Take -B, the timing is better, but either Tommy Dorsey or Nat Natoli hits the note too hard and slips up to the higher harmonic for a moment (I'd guess Dorsey as Natoli's the more experienced trumpeter, but this is just a guess. Please please please correct me if I'm wrong). On Take -C, they all nail it.
Finally, it's a shame that none of these takes were included in the Jazz Oracle Dorsey Brothers discs - I know it's not technically the Dorsey Brothers Orch playing, but it's very close to it. I guess it was decided that they fell outside of the scope of the set, and if the CDs were full, then Cherry would have to be the first to go. Unfortunately it's not on the Frog Records McKinney's Cotton Pickers set either - which doesn't surprise me, as in terms of musicians it's closer to the Dorseys than the Pickers. It's just unfortunate that this group being neither one nor the other, it hasn't shown up on CDs of either.
WINGY MANONE AND HIS CLUB ROYALE ORCHESTRA
C-2682-B - Trying To Stop My Crying
C-2683 - Isn't There A Little Love
Available on "The Wingy Manone Collection Vol. 1, 1927-1930", Collectors Classics COCD-03. Out of print, but downloadable from online music stores including iTunes (UK ONLY) and 7digital (worldwide). On 7digital the album is called "Complete Jazz Series 1927 - 1934". Exactly the same digital source has been used - again, the waveforms line up perfectly and remain in perfect synchronisation throughout - but the iTunes version has been mastered a smidge (less than 3 dB) louder. Excellent transfer by John RT Davies.
Strangely, the version on "Wingy Manone and His Orchestra 1927-1934", Classics 774 also lines up perfectly well with the above transfers. I can't say 100% what transfers have been appropriated from where as I don't have a CD copy of COCD-03 as a definite point of reference.
Finally, these transfers all seemed a smidge flat - speeding them up by 1.10% put them right for me.
TED LEWIS AND HIS BAND
W-148930-3 - Farwell Blues
W-148931-4 - Wabash Blues
Available on "The John RT Davies Collection Volume 1: Disc B, Ted Lewis", JSP940B. Fine John RT Davies transfers. There's a slight defect in the transfer on my CD right on the barline between the 5th and 6th full bar of Lewis' first solo in Wabash Blues - whether it's my CD, the digital master, Mr Davies' disc or the original master disc I don't know, but I hear it every time unfortunately. These transfers seem a little sharp - lowering them by 2.13% (the difference between 78.26 and 76.60 RPM) put them right to my ear. I know this seems like quite a bit, and interestingly for a Columbia it's slower than 78.26. Off the top of my head the Bix & his Gang/Trumbauer Orchestra Okeh session from 25/10/1927 is similarly slow.
ELMER SCHOEBEL AND HIS FRIAR'S SOCIETY ORCHESTRA
C-4560-A Prince Of Wails
These sides are also included on "Jazz From The Windy City", Timeless CBC1-021. Another source for this is "The White Hot Batch", Frog DGF 76, as remastered by Nick Dellow. The Frog version is cleaner, mastered a little louder (3-4 dB, compared with both files normalised of course), and a little sharper/faster - the White Hot Batch version is the correct pitch, the Jazz From The Windy City version is a touch flat. I'd lean towards the Frog version.
Aside: Upon close listening, can I hear Dick Feige quoting Bix's solo from the Wolverine's Copenhagen behind Karl Berger's Guitar solo, or are my ears playing tricks on me?
THE CELLAR BOYS
C-5308-A Wailing Blues
C-5308-B Wailing Blues
C-5309-A Barrel House Stomp
C-5309-B Barrel House Stomp
C-5309-C Barrel House Stomp
Available on Jazz From The Windy City, Timeless CBC1-021. Out of print on CD, but downloadable from online music stores including iTunes and 7digital. Fine John RT Davies transfers, with slightly varying top end, obviously depending on what sources of each take Mr Davies had to work with.
Tesch is one of my favorites 1920s musician. A young, enterprising man/woman ought to build a website for Tesch. Tesch was not even 26 when he died. WBIX # 20 was devoted entirely to Tesch. Here is the link.
I would like to add a few other recordings, which were not mentioned in your discography:
SAM LANIN'S FAMOUS PLAYERS AND SINGERS
Sam Lanin dir: Phil Napoleon, Harold Peppie, t / Tommy Dorsey, t, tb / ? Frank Teschemacher and another, cl, as / cl, ts / Warner, p / Smith Ballew, g or bj, v / Jimmy Mullen, bb / d / The Three Star Singers, v.
400820-B Too Busy! - v3
The personnel during the summer of 1928 included Phil Napoleon, Harold Peppie, t / Tommy Dorsey, tb / Frank Teschemacher, cl, as, ts, / Warner, p / Smith Ballew, g, v / Jimmy Mullen bb, sb, and four more (2 saxes, vn, and d).
It is not known if this group recorded as such, but the next four titles have been reported as conforming to this lineup.
Irving Kaufman, unknown, v. (Rust lists Fud Livingston instead of Frank Teschemacher)
146602-2 Nagasaki - vIK
146603-2 Down Where The Sun Goes Down - vUnk (Tesch inaudiable)
I sent Albert a mp3 file of "Cherry" for uploading on bixography. I made it with a E- disc. Very conservative graders would grade it probably a V+. Therefore, it's not a very clean transfer...
I would like to add that this was the actual file I used for my youtube video. As you can hear, it sounds quite different. The reason is the processing of the video by youtube when a video in such a format (.dv-fomat) is uploaded. Unfortunately, there is always a digital hiss on my videos because of that. The best way to prevent it is listening to the music on my channel not with headphones but with speakers.
Marty Grosz wrote the biography and notes on the music for this set. According to Marty, there are 34 existing recordings by Tesch. The set includes 40 recordings. The extra six are by Tesch sound-alikes. In the liners, Marty cites as sound-alikes Pee Wee Russell, Fud Livingston and Maurice Bercov. Do You/Gloriana are not included in the set, indicating that Tesch does not play in these recordings.
Apparently, there was a "Chicago Style" of clarinet playing. Among those associated with that style were Pee Wee Russell, Fud Livingston, Maurice Bercov, Wade Foster, Bud Jacobson and Jimmy Lord, and, of course, Frank Teschemacher. Probably others. The Chicago clarinetist who had his own style and was certainly not a Tesch "sound-alike" was the great Benny Goodman. What is interesting is that, in spite of their different styles, both Benny and Tesch were inspired/influenced by Bix.
on Tesch, and it's really worthwhile-- the booklet, the recordings by his emulators.
Giants of Jazz LP series was a godsend to me when I first got hooked on jazz and needed to educate myself quickly. Of course the first set -- on cassette --I bought from that flea market was Bix (replacing it with a nice LP set from Jerry's Used Records), followed by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Red Allen, Jack Teagarden, Jelly Roll Morton, Tesch. (Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith sets I already had.)
I wonder if these sets ever got on cd? I mean as they are in the Time-Life series, with 3 albums, booklet, portrait illustration.
There's something to be said about vinyl LP sets which cd offerings just cannot duplicate. That's how I feel about my opera albums on LP -- thick, lavishly illustrated librettos, perhaps a signed portrait of the star tenor or soprano; catalogue; everything nicely packed and easy to open. I've damned near almost cracked some cd's trying to get them out of their horrible little stiff plastic packages. Then on the imports there's some crappily translated liner notes with a lot of inaccurate information most of the time. I was heartily relieved that the Bix and the Wolverines cd from Archeophone which just came out was so nice.
I agree, Laura. The good thing (there were several downsides) about the LP format was that it offered a design that encouraged good cover photography or art/design and that the space lent itself to extensive cover and liner notes. Ah, the way some of those people could write about music! I wish album downloads came with a text file of the notes, where there are any notes.
Dave Sager is to be congratulated on his fairly extensive notes on The Complete Wolverines CD, along with a good discography.
From the Liner Notes of the Tesch Giants of Jazz Set
Marty Grosz, a first-class, highly respected guitarist and jazz historian wrote the liner notes for the Tesch Time-Life set. Marty has a tremendous insight into the music of the 1920s and provided extremely useful and fascinating information about Tesch, his much too short life, his music, his recordings. Because this is a Bix forum, Iit is appropriate to copy here what Marty tells us about Tesch and Bix.
In his recordings he shows the influence of Beiderbecke and the clarinetists he had listened to.
It is easy to show that Teschmacher was influenced by Bix Beiderbecke and Armstrong.
Teschemacher and his friends had come under the spell of the records being put out by a band called the Wolverines and particularly its cornetist Bix Beiderbecke.
Mezzrow joined the Wolverines at White City at McPartland's invitation. He noted in his biography that he had greatly impressed the youthful band with his own performance and enthralled them with stories of playing alongside Beiderbecke at the Martinique, an Indiana night club. "Tesch couldn't get over it," he wrote, "because Bix was his god, mentor and all-around idol. 'Yeah, yeah,' he kept saying, with his eyes open wide as camera shutters and shining through his thick horn-rimmed glasses. 'I want to meet that guy some day."
Teschemacher's reverence for Beiderbecke was a notable feature of this period of his life. "If Bix wore one blue sock and one yellow sock for three weeks," Stacy [Jess] recalled, "Tesch would do the same."
Trumpeter Max Kaminsky, who came from Boston to play with Manone, recalled Teschemacher as being like Beiderbecke in his utter devotion to music. "When he wasn't practicing on the clarinet and alto sax," he wrote in his autobiography, he was busy with the violin and the cornet. He had a soulful, Bix quality that was very musical in spite of his wry toughness."
Another distinguished jazz historian and musician who wrote about Tesch is Richard Hadlock. His book "Jazz Masters of the Twenties" is a classic and has been highly praised for the insights Richard provides in the world of 1920s jazz. He devotes one chapter to the Chicagoans and has the following to say about Tesch and Bix.
A number of reed players, in turn, were deeply affected by Bix, including Pee Wee Russell, Frank Teschemacher, Adrian Rollini, and Benny Goodman. (Listen to Goodman's alto on his 1928 recording of "Blue".)
Teschemacher was especially fond of Beiderbecke and began to show it in his playing. The session pointed up a split among the Chicagoans that had been widening for some time and could now be heard in their music, McPartland, Goodman, Freeman, Wettling, and Teschemacher were drifting away from New Orleans patterns toward a more sophisticated, lighter music that emphasized clean execution, advanced harmonies, and melodic wit. Their guiding light was the modern work of Beiderbecke. Sullivan, Mezzrow, and Spanier were primarily Armstrong-blues men. As Sullivan once expressed it, "I love Bix like I love my right arm, but I go by way of Louis." Not that Freeman et al didn't have a deep admiration for Louis ("Too much Armstrong," Teschemacher once admonished Bud after one of his tenor solos ); nor did Spanier and the others fail to appreciate Bix. Each side still indulged in a good deal of hero worship in both directions, but the split was there.
Tesch was, of course, his own man, and he developed his unique, highly recognizable style. But he evidently was under the spell and influence of Bix Beiderbecke, and this clearly showed in his playing, as cogently stated by Marty Grosz and Richard Hadlock.
Interviewer: Can you remember how Frank Teschemacher reacted to the passing of Bix Beiderbecke? Is that too hard to recall?
Jess Stacy: No it isnt, because he cried. Teschemacher was crazy and nuts about Bix, ya know. He idolized the ground he walked on. And he took it very hard, well, so did I. But Teschemacher actually cried. I was with him when we got the news.
Interview with pianist Jess Stacy on a radio program honoring what would have been Bix Beiderbeckes 87th birthday, 1990
Of all the people generally associated with me in early Chicago, he [Teschemacher] was the most musically talented, with the exception of Bix [Beiderbecke], whom he idolized.
Eddie Condon about fellow musician and friend Frank Teschemacher
This message has been edited by ahaim on Jun 1, 2012 2:40 PM
Do Volly deFaut and Danny Polo count as Chicago clarinetists? If so, I think we'd agree they were closer to the Goodman rather than the Tesch mold, especially Polo.
It seems to me that Tesch "got" the Bix idea of playing "unusual" note choices and combinations but not the concept of making each note a "pretty" one, although he certainly put together some pretty notes a la Goodman at times.
I think both McPartland's and Tesch's solos on "Liza" show Bix's influence, for example. I also like the way Tesch plays high harmony note for note with McPartland's lead on that song, rather than the usual clarinet embroidery all around the melody. He does some of the same to good effect on "Shim-me-sha-wabble" with Red Nichols in the second half of the song. Tesch was usually surprising, certainly never boring, and probably best personifies the explosive energy of the Chicago style.
It is surprising that he made so few recordings, yet is far from forgotten. I can't help but wonder what Bix and Tesch might have done together later in a small group like Goodman's trios/quartets and Shaw's Gramercy Five.
Sylvester Ahola Interview Conducted by Nick Dellow. Part 1.
Hooley talks about his activity at CBS ( radio studios in New York after he came back from England. Nick apologizes "about the rather poor quality, but the cassette tape is nearly 30 years old." The woman's voice is that of Saima Ahola, Hooley's longtime wife.
Re: Sylvester Ahola Interview Conducted by Nick Dellow. Part 1.
Wow! This is great stuff. I had heard, actually read some of this in a written interview w Ahola in an old Shellac Stack auction (Paul Burgess), and it is great to hear him talking about this period and of course my uncle.
I heard lots of stories about Nat when I was a kid, my grandmother and her other surviving brother used to tell stories about his clowning and his fantastic musicianship. It was until I was in my mid 30s that I finally heard some recordings of Nat that really testified to both attributes.
Sylvester Ahola Interview Conducted by Nick Dellow. Part 2.
Hooley talks about the New Yorkers and about Bix. More fascinating stuff from Nick.
Nick writes, Apologies again for the quality. The strange clicking noise you hear was caused by Hooley! He sat in a metal-framed rocking chair and every time he moved in the chair the springs would produce this loud noise. I did ask him if he could try to stop the noise but of course you can't expect someone to keep very still in a rocking chair when they are chatting away, so I gave up in the end! After all, the original reason for taping Hooley was so that I could conveniently transcribe what he was saying later, in which case such extraneous noises were not an important issue. I cut the interview where I did because the sound degrades beyond that point. In any case, Hooley doesn't talk a lot more about Bix or the New Yorkers Club. I asked him if Bix always varied his solos and he said that he did but that Trumbauer didn't.
In the seventies I raised an eyebrow reading, in Bix: Man & Legend, that Sylvester Ahola was called "Hooley by friends, perhaps after the Finnish word 'huuli', which meant the embouchure." I still don't believe it, never heard it used as a term for embouchure, never read it in print, nor found it in any dictionary. Also not likely that Finnish-Americans would have invented it; they simply would have mangled "embouchure" to fit Finnish pronunciation, as that is the way they adapted all new English words they needed to use. Huuli (meaning 'lip') is pronounced very much like "hooley," but it seems obvious that Hooley is just mispronouncing (accidentally or as a joke) Ahola as "a-hoola" or something, which resembles such English and Irish names as Hooley and Gilhooley (in Finnish all the vowels in Ahola are short, with the stress on first syllable only). Dick Hill, in The Gloucester Gabriel, repeats the embouchure story even though he tells that both Ahola's father and older brother were also called Hooley.
.... thank you for the informative posting. For the benefit of Forum readers, here are the pertinent sections in the books you cited.
Sudhalter and Evans: "... the New Englander, dubbed 'Hooley' by friends, perhaps after the Finnish word huuli, which meant the embouchure."
Dick Hill: "The nickname 'Hooley' if of Irish origin. It was given initially to Sylvester's father by the Irish laborers in the area of High Street (known locally as 'Dublin Street'), who couldn't, or wouldn't, proonounce the name Ahola. The nickname was passed from father to both sons, although in Sylvester's case it was more appropriate, as in Finnish 'Huuli' means lip or embouchure."
PS Hooley, the Fabulous Finn, comes in second in my list of favorite horn players, with Bix first, of course!
It's entirely believable that Hooley may have encouraged the nickname, or at least found it agreeable, just because it also means "Lip" in Finnish. A trumpeter with a good embouchure wouldn't mind being called "The Lip" or "Lip" at all (cf. Hot Lips Page and others.)
Thanks for your generosity, Enrico. Fantastic photo.
Another Apeda Studio photograph. The Capitolians in the the Capitol Theatre in 1928. Directed by Walter Roesner, no Mole/Dorsey/Berton/McConville here, but interesting anyway. Lou Calabrese, Lou Bring and Jimmmie Lytell are present.
The two trombone players are familiar to me, but I don't remember the names now. Is Tom Satterfield the guy with the glasses close by the bass player?
The Capitol was the frequent site of the world premieres of films made by the Loew's-owned Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio. After having been converted for the presentation of Cinerama wide screen films in 1964, the theater's last engagement was the New York premiere of MGM's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Capitol closed September 16, 1968 with a live all-star benefit featuring Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. The Times Square landmark was replaced by the Paramount Plaza office tower.
I remind you that the Cinderella Ballroom/New Yorker Club/Paul Whiteman Club was diagonally across the street at 1600 Broadway.
MGM announced the production of several short Movietone shorts at the Cosmopolitan studios. Among the names of performers of interest here we find the Keller Sisters and Lynch and Walt Roesner's Capitolians.
In his article in the IAJRC Journal, May 2008, "The Dorsey Brothers - Filmdom's Favorites" Robert Stockdale gives the following information about the Capitolians short:
Sometime during the last part of 1928 Jimmy performed, along with Leo McConville, Miff Mole and other members of Walter Roesner's pit band at M-G-M's Capitol Theater, New York in one of the first sound-on-film short subjects made on Long Island. Jimmy performs two originals that affirm the high regard with which the New York music world viewed him. It is the first known film work for either of the brothers.
Unknown studio, New York, N.Y. late 1928
Walter Rosener [sic] & the Capitolians
Walter Rosener [sic] (ldr) Leo McConville, 2 unknown (tp) Miff Mole, 2 unknown (tb) Jimmy Dorsey, unknown (cl,as) 2 unknown (cl,ts) 2 unknown (p) unknown (g), (bj), (sb), (tu), (d) and large string section.
(partial:) Tiger Rag [Harry DeCosta; Edwin Edwards, Nick La Rocca, Tony Spargo, Larry Shields] (cl,as solos); I [Lew Pollack; Erno Rapee]; Hottest Man in the Band / Beebe [Jimmy Dorsey] (as solo)
All selections on VIDEO: M-G-M/UA laser disc ML 103942 The Dawn Of Sound
Several years ago I was going through some old photos at my aunt's home and came across this neat photo of a band called The Memphis Syncopaters.
I was curious how it ended up within their photos because I wasn't aware of anyone in the family being in a jazz band. However, my mother's uncle ran a music store in Indiana in the 1910's and 1920's and she told me that it probably came from him.
I know nothing of this band. Does anybody else?
After googling, the only thing I discovered was some information about them playing in Sarasota, Florida on a vaudeville circuit in 1932. The photo looks to be of an earlier period.
The photo is in storage at the moment, so I don't have access to it, but there were some notes on the back I believe from my grandmother. Whenever I get it out of storage I will be happy to provide the additional information.
I found lots of articles and ads in newspapers from the 1920s, all across the country. The Memphis Syncopaters/Syncopators were led by Everett Sanderson and, in addition to live appearances, had radio broadcasts in 1924. But they never made recordings, as far as I can tell. The iceberg effect in action.
From the Logansport Press 1924 10-29, Indiana.
At the Luna Theater
While the big feature of the All
Ace Revue is Everett Sanderson
and his Memphis Syncopators, a
red hot jazz band, consisting of
five clever boys and Marjorie
Vaughn, the personality girl. A
few of the musical offerings yon
should not miss are Bert Peck, violin
soloist, George Muonts cornetist,
followed by Sanderson playing
the meanest blues on a clarinet
and he also plays two clarinets
at one time, saxophone and
clarinet at one time, banjo, piano
novelties, Italian bass clarinet solos.
And last but, not least the
All Ace- Quartette In comedy and
This is a show that music lovers ^
shouldn't miss, combined with good
clean comedy, and musical comedy
hits. This is a personally guaranteed
FromTHE BRADFORD ERA, PA SATURDAY, JUNE 19,1928
LAST TIMES TODAY
A Show That Will Have All Bradford Talking
" P R E S E N T I N G "
The Musical and Dance Hit of the Season
HERBERT & SANDERSON'S REVUE
A BIG MUSICAL TREAT
A SYNCOPATED NOVELTY
America's most versatile artist
rendering his own compositions with
Marjorie Vaughen [sic] , Ruth Crossman, Ralph Sibery and Omer Herbert.
DIRECT FROM THE BIG TIME
This musical revue iss walking away with the applause honors of everv show in
which they appear. They have talent, the youth an d th e magnetic personalities
Perhaps no other building in Bradford is remembered with such fondness as "Shea's" Theater. Built in 1903, it reigned as the city's primary theatrical entertainment experience for thousands of people until its demolition in 1961.
Early theaters in Bradford, as elsewhere, were called "Opera Houses", although all sorts of various types of entertainment took place there, including lectures, burlesque, stage plays, and even graduations. In 1879, Bradford had 5 theaters, and all of them well attended. In 1903, a group of businessmen decided to build a brand new theater, and locate it directly behind the IOOFBuilding on the corner of the Square. Nationally known theatrical architects Leon Lempert & Sons of Rochester, NY were contracted to design a theater that could seat 1500 people on a lot 80' x 119'. It was completed late that year, and on December 15, 1903, the "temple of amusement" as The Bradford Era called it held a gala opening event.
An excerpt from The Bradford Era, dated December 15, 1903, is as follows: "At 7 o'clock last evening the New Bradford Theater was formally opened for inspection by the public and for the auction sale of seats and boxes. Although an admission fee of 50 cents was charged, several hundred persons attended and the sale of seats was quite spirited for a time. S.G. Coffin had the honor of purchasing the first seat in the new playhouse, paying a premium of $7.50 in addition to the regular price of $2.50 for a parquet chair, a total of $10. The structure contains eight boxes with a total seating capacity of 64 persons.
The officers of the new Bradford Theater are as follows: President, S.R. Dresser; Vice President, O.F. Schonblom; Treasurer, Thomas Kennedy; Secretary, Otto Koch.
The dressing rooms, which are located both above and below the stages, are veritable models of their kind, supplied with hold and cold water, gas, electric, lights, carpets, toilet apartments and adequate furnishings. They are sufficiently numerous to accommodate the largest dramatic or musical organization traveling. The directors and architects have made every provision for the care and safety of the patrons of the theater. Every floor has its fire escape, furnished with doors which may be opened at all times from the interior. Over each fire exit is a red electric light, so that in case of a conflagration, there need be no confusion as to the location of the escapes."
The opening night performance was "The Prince of Pilsen".
In the years that followed, the new Bradford Theater grew in popularity. In 1906, "The Wizard of Oz" played there, with 50 performers and a live cow. Sarah Bernhardt herself played on the stage in "La Sorciere", a drama spoken entirely in Spanish. No one in Bradford understood Spanish, but the theatergoers were enchanted by the great Sarah just the same, even it they did not quite "get it".
In 1922, the theater was sold to the Shea's Theater Company of Buffalo, NY, and the name changed. The list of famous performers went on and on. Some of the more famous entertainers were: Sally Rand (the famous "bubble dancer"), Harry Blackstone, Boris Karloff, Gypsy Rose Lee, Ethel Barrymore, Arthur Treacher, Lyle Talbot, and countless "big bands" with their singers, including Rosemary Clooney.
But times change. In the late 1950s, the building was bought by the Dipson Company, and plans were made to demolish the structure. The Bradford Parking Authority expressed an interest in the lot, hoping to put in a 40-car lot by September 1, 1961. (Ironically, there were also plans made to demolish the old City Hall at the same time, to also allow for more parking). On Friday afternoon, August 18, 1961, the demolition began. Local police and fire department officials ordered the area blocked off when the upper portion of the Shea Theater building bulged a bit and gave indication that it might collapse. A large crowd was attracted to the scene, as the building was ready to collapse. Soon, it was just a memory.
Today, Shea's Theater only remains in the minds of Bradfordians. It's sister theater, The Palace", in Olean, NY, also built by Leon Lempert & Sons of Rochester, was demolished in October of 1998. The days of a truly "theatrical experience" have passed.
Broadcast date:April 26, 2007 The hugely popular big band leader of the 20's, Paul Whiteman, crowned himself the "King of Jazz." He hired the best musicians to work for him - George Gershwin, Don Redman, and Duke Ellington. Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra showcase classic Redman arrangements such as "Stampede" and "I'd Love It." Special guests include Bob Wilbur, Daryl Sherman, and Vince Giordano.
Not true, Paul did not crown himself the "King of Jazz." From my Whiteman piece on WWI Registration cards for the Doctor Jazz website:
Whiteman did not confer the title of King of Jazz upon himself, as commonly stated. In fact, he did not like the sobriquet. The first mention was in 1919, in the Pasadena Evening Post, . . . the friends of Mr. Whiteman have with much enthusiasm bestowed the title of king of jazz upon him.
"King of Jazz": the Film at Lincoln Center. Tuesday, May 15, 2012.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium (Map and directions)
Fully accessible to wheelchairs
King of Jazz (1930)
Directed by John Murray Anderson, 98 min.
With Paul Whiteman, John Boles, Laura La Plante, and The Rhythm Boys
Going Places (1930)
Produced by The Vitaphone Corporation, 10 minutes
Todays film screenings will be followed by a panel, Revue Stars on Film. Participants include Ron Hutchinson of The Vitaphone Project, A Song in the Dark author Richard Barrios, and Joe Lauro of Historic Films Archive.
This series, programmed by John Calhoun of the Reserve Film and Video Collection, is presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Great American Revue, on view April 20 through July 27 in the Vincent Astor Gallery.
Films shown on Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m., from April 24 through May 29. All features will be accompanied by Vitaphone shorts, thanks to Ron Hutchinson of The Vitaphone Project.
This is not the restored version. It will not be ready for two years.
Re: A short conversation between Margulis and Challis.
by Nick Dellow
The "Nat" is Nat Shilkret. This is part of Bob Mantler's taped interview of Nat Shilkret, Bill Challis and Andy Sannella conducted in 1961.
To be perfectly honest, despite the interview stretching over four hours in total, it produced relatively little of significance. Mantler doesn't ask a single question about Bix, spends a considerable amount of time playing (and re-playing) very straight Shilkret sides, and often disagrees with his interviewees! It seems to me that this was a classic case of a wasted opportunity.
By the way David, Sylvester Ahola told me some very funny stories about Nat Brusiloff, who seems to have been something of a practical joker a la Venuti! I have these stories on tape, but could relate one or two of them here if you and Albert would like me to do so. Hooley worked for him at NBC in the 1930s.
Anything about the great Hooley is fascinating to me.
In his autobiography, Nat Shilkret mentions Bill Challis several times, mostly briefly. Here is one fascinating glimpse.
Even in the late 1960s (Nat Shilkret was in his seventies at the time) he [Nat] visited the arrnager Bill Challis in Massapequa (on Long Island) for lessosn. He always had a high opinion of Challis's work.
Indeed, Bill and Charlie were talking about Nat Shilkret.
In his autobiography, Nat Shilkret has a small piece titled "The Smith Brothers Program." Nat writes,
The Smith Brothers program was changed from using two male singers and a small orchestra to using Miss Rose Bampton and a twenty-eight piece semi-pop orchestra. It was a an orchestra studded with players like Artie Shaw, Chester Hazlett, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Lou Raderman, Charlie Margulis, and Manny Klein, all joined by Miss Rose Bampton's luscious and beautiful voice. She was used in both classical and popular Broadway songs, with orchestrl arrangments in rich color. Miss Bampton sang in pure tone and fine diction. She did not cater to the "pop" song style. The orchestra supplied the needed touch for a splendid program. George Marek, now head of RCA Victor Division, was in charge of the program.
Nat does not mention getting drunk!
The Smith Brothers were the inventors of the cough drop. The two singers mentioned by Nat were Scrappy Lambert and Billy Hillpot, taking the roles of 'Trade' and 'Mark' over the WEAF radio station as impersonators for the Smith Brothers in the program sponsored by Smith Brothers Cough Drops. The words 'Trade' and 'Mark' were written under the images of the Smith Brothers in their products.
In the 1930s, Scrappy and Billy did a revival of their Trader and Mark impersonations over the NBC network. From 1926 to 1928, Scrappy and Billy were with Ben Bernie. Of course, we know the connection of Scrappy with Bix and Tram: Borneo and My Pet. Scrappy recorded also with Roger Wolfe Kahn, Red Nichols, Nat Shilkret, Jack Pettis, Joe Venuti, Arthur Schutt, Ben Pollack, Irving Mills, Adrian Schubert, Ben Selvin, Sam Lanin, Bob Haring, etc. He used various pseudonyms: Burt Lorin, Glen Burt, Buddy Blue, William Brown, Harold Clarke, etc.
The Smith Brothers program mentioned by Nat in his autobiography ran from 1933 to 1935.