Mildred Bailey, Vocals
b. Tekoa, WA, USA.
d. Dec. 12, 1951.
née: Mildred Rinker (part Native American).
Al Rinker's sister. Al Rinker, Bing Crosby and Harry Barris gained their first international fame as "The Rhythm Boys" with Paul Whiteman's Orchestra. Mildred later married vibist Red Norvo.
~by John Bush
An early jazz singer with a sweet voice that belied her plump physique, Mildred Bailey balanced a good deal of popular success with a hot jazz-slanted career that saw her billed as Mrs. Swing (her husband, Red Norvo, was Mr. Swing).

Born Mildred Rinker in Washington state in 1907, Bailey began performing at an early age, playing piano and singing in movie theaters during the early '20s. 

By 1925, she was the headlining act at a club in Hollywood, doing a mixture of pop, early jazz tunes, and vaudeville standards. Influenced by Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, and Connie Boswell, she developed a soft, swinging delivery that pleased all kinds of nightclub audiences in the area. After sending a demonstration disc in to Paul Whiteman in 1929, she gained a spot with one of the most popular dance orchestras of the day.

The added exposure with Whiteman soon gave Bailey her own radio program. Recording for Vocalion during the 1930s, Bailey often utilized her husband, xylophonist Red Norvo. She had already debuted on a recording date with guitarist Eddie Lang in 1929, but in 1932 she gained fame by recording what became her signature song, "Rockin' Chair" -- written especially for her by Hoagie Carmichael -- with a Whiteman small group. She also appeared on his recordings of the late '30s, and the arrangements of Eddie Sauter proved a perfect accompaniment to her vocals.
Though she and Norvo later divorced, Bailey continued to perform and record during the 1940s. She appeared on Benny Goodman's Camel Caravan radio program, and gained her own series again during the mid-'40s.

Hampered by health problems during the late '40s, she spent time in the hospital suffering from diabetes and died of a heart attack in 1951.
Mildred Bailey - Wikipedia

Marian Anderson
Gospel Vocals
b. Philadelphia, PA, USA

A legendary African-American interpreter of both operatic and concert repertoire, Marian Anderson was possessed of one of the finest contralto voices in living memory. Her career was notable not only for her artistic achievements -- which were many -- but also for a dignified tenacity in the face of discrimination. She opened doors for subsequent generations of black American singers.

Having sung since childhood, and subsequently studied with a number of teachers in her native Philadelphia, Anderson first rose to prominence when she appeared with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1925. In the early '30s she made a successful concert tour of Europe, and solidified her growing reputation with further appearances in New York and London. 

In 1939, Anderson scheduled an appearance at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., but was denied the use of the building by its owners, the Daughters of the American Revolution, who objected to the presentation of a black performer. 

Eleanor Roosevelt resigned her membership in the DAR in protest of this decision and then scheduled an appearance for Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday. 

The resulting concert, attended by thousands and broadcast nationwide, forever established Anderson as an ambassador for racial progress -- a role she embraced with great pride and success for the remainder of her career. Fittingly, Anderson's 1955 appearance at the Metropolitan Opera marked the first by an African-American singer, preparing the way for such future stars as Leontyne Price and Shirley Verrett.
Marian Anderson's voice was dark, rich, and possessed of great power and agility. Her repertory ranged from opera and concert material to Negro spirituals, and she brought to all things a great sense of commitment and integrity. Arturo Toscanini is noted to have remarked that a voice like hers only appears "once in a hundred years." Her extraordinary range extended all the way down to the D below middle C -- as displayed in her performances of Schubert's song Death and the Maiden (Der Tod und das Mädchen) -- as well as upwards into soprano territory (as an exercise, she even sang the devastatingly difficult "Casta diva" from Bellini's Norma).

While her voice was most distinctive in the lower range, she was also capable of lightening it almost to leggiero proportions -- as she did in works of Handel and other Baroque composers -- and of bringing a near-ideal combination of classical training and folk-like spontaneity to the spirituals that were an integral part of her concert and recording repertoire.

Chester Boone, trumpet
b. Houston, TX, USA
Listeners who hear trumpeter Chester Boone blasting away in the raucous, sometimes raunchy context of the Louis Jordan or Sammy Price bands might find it hard to believe that the origins of Boone's music were in his Sunday school class at home in Houston. This gig led to a job with Richardson's Jazz Band, a combo whose main job was playing for the bathers at a swimming pool. Boone then formed his own band in Houston, perhaps tired of ducking the splashes created by divers, and left Houston in the late '20s on tour with bandleader Dee Johnson. Several years later the trumpeter shows up in the lineup of the legendary Troy Floyd band, one of the great early territorial bands prowling the Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas hinterlands.

One of Boone's sidekicks in this outfit was awesome tenor player Herschel Evans. The two hornmen hit it off and decided to ditch the Floyd outfit together, jumping over to the Grant Moore Band during a period when sidemen routinely moved back and forth between bands as if they were professional football players whose contracts had been written in disappearing ink. This trumpeter's busy movements took him to Chicago, where he practiced with a new band formed by Cassino Simpson, but left before playing a single note on-stage with the group. He headed back to Houston, this time to front his own band at the Harlem Grill, where the main concern for musicians seemed to be getting splattered with barbecue sauce. This job started in 1932, and over several years the group's popularity began to boom. In 1936 the trumpeter joined a band known as the Brown Skin Models, a road gig that got him down to New York City, where he hooked up with a variety of talented up-and-coming bandleaders, most notably Jordan.

The New York period also led to recording sessions with the aforementioned Price as well as Lloyd Phillips. Boone joined Joe "Kaiser" Marshall in the early '40s, and the following year gave leading his own band another whirl, also resulting in the chance to cut several sides. He also played with both Horace Henderson and Buddy Johnson before joining the exciting band of Luis Russell for three years. In the final years of World War II, Boone toured with a USO outfit, including gigs in the South Pacific islands. In the late '40s he dropped out of the professional music scene, but showed up from time to time as both a trumpeter and vocalist. In the '50s he went into the record business himself, starting up a label called Nu Tex.
~ Eugene Chadbourne

Lucille Dixon, bassist
b. New York (Harlem), NY, USA.
Member: "International Sweethearts Of Rhythm"
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was the first integrated all women's band in the United States. During the 1940s the band featured some of the best female musicians of the day.

They played swing and jazz on a national circuit that included the Apollo Theater in New York City, the Regal Theater in Chicago, and the Howard Theater in Washington, DC After a performance in Chicago in 1943, the Chicago Defender announced the band was, "One of the hottest stage shows that ever raised the roof of the theater!" More recently, they have been labeled "the most prominent and probably best female aggregation of the Big Band era."

Clarence "Bon Ton" Garlow, guitar
b. Welsh, LA, USA.
Clarence Garlow was an American R&B, jump blues, Texas blues and cajun guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is best known for his recording of the song "Bon Ton Roula", which was a hit single on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart in 1950. Wikipedia
Born: February 27, 1911, Welsh, LA

Died: July 24, 1986, Beaumont, TX

Will Bryant Gilmer, C&W Fiddle
b. Leake County, MS, USA.
d. December 28, 1960.
Member: "Leake County Revelers", a group formed in 1926. The Columbia catalog described them as "the finest interpreters of old waltz melodies in the Southland."

"Skitch" Henderson
Freddie Keppard
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. July 15, 1933, Chicago, IL, USA.
~by Scott Yanow
One of the New Orleans cornet "kings" (succeeding Buddy Bolden and preceding King Oliver), Freddie Keppard was one of the few innovators of the 1910 era who had a chance to record later on, giving listeners a glimpse of his abilities. Keppard was active from around 1906, leading the Olympia Orchestra and freelancing in New Orleans. In 1914, he helped bring jazz to Los Angeles with his Original Creole Band.
After settling in Chicago in the early '20s, Keppard worked with Doc Cook's Dreamland Orchestra (with whom he recorded on several occasions), Erskine Tate, Ollie Powers, and Charles Elgar.
He could have been the first jazz musician to record (back in 1916), but passed on the opportunity because he was afraid that competitors would steal his ideas. Keppard did record between 1923-1927 (his best sides were with his own Jazz Cardinals, particularly "Stock Yard Strut") and those performances feature him using a staccato phrasing influenced by brass bands and displaying a spirited tone. Unfortunately, Keppard was an alcoholic by the mid-'20s and was soon in a decline just when he should have been entering his prime. He died of tuberculosis in 1933 at the age of 43. All of his recordings are available on a single CD put out by the European King Jazz label.

Hugues Panassie
Writer/Jazz Promoter
b. Paris, France
d. Dec. 8, 1974.
Discographer: "Le Jazz Hot" 

"Texas Jim" Robertson
Western vocals/actor
b. Batesville, TX, USA. 

Leo Watson, Vocals/drums
b. Kansas City, MO, USA.
d. 1950, USA. 
Biography ~by Scott Yanow
An eccentric singer whose improvisations were often futuristic, Leo Watson was way ahead of his time; imagine if Betty Carter had suddenly appeared in the 1930's! Watson started out as a solo vocalist and a journeyman drummer. After moving to New York in 1929, he performed in a novelty act that toured with the Whitman Sisters' Show. The backup group (which included Wilbur and Douglas Daniels) soon broke away to become the Spirits Of Rhythm; Teddy Bunn joined as guitarist. Watson was a highly original scat singer as he showed on the Spirits' recordings of the time (in 1933) and on his guest appearances with the Washboard Rhythm Kings. After the Spirits Of Rhythm (which featured several of its singing members including Watson playing tiples, a type of ukulele), Watson worked on 52nd Street with John Kirby at the Onyx (1937).

He had short stints (and made a few intriguing recordings) with the orchestras of Artie Shaw and Gene Krupa (1938). The following year he worked with Jimmy Mundy's big band for a time and Watson was part of all of the Spirits Of Rhythm reunion bands. He was in and out of music for the next few years, not really finding a niche for himself. Watson was based in Los Angeles from 1943 on, sometimes teaming up with Slim Gaillard but mostly having low-profile jobs before his death from pneumonia in at the age of 52. He can be seen briefly in the film "Stormy Weather" and, in addition to sideman appearances with Shaw, Krupa, Leonard Feather and the Spirits, Leo Watson led two four-song recording sessions (1939 and 1946), one apiece for Decca and Signature; the latter has some classic performances.
Leo Watson - Wikipedia
Leo Watson | Discography | Discogs

Elisabeth Welch

Elisabeth Margaret Welch (February 19, 1904 – July 15, 2003) was an American singer, actress, and entertainer, whose career spanned seven decades. Her best-known songs were "Stormy Weather", "Love for Sale" and "Far Away in Shanty Town". She was American-born but was based in Britain for most of her career.

Early life

Welch was born in Englewood, New Jersey, where her father was chief gardener of an estate. Her father was of indigenous American and African American ancestry; her mother was of Scottish and Irish descent. Welch was brought up in a Baptist Christian family, and began her singing in a church choir.

She first intended to go from high school into social work, but instead chose to became a professional singer. She started her career in America, in New York, in 1922, but in 1929 she went on to Europe - first to Paris and then to London, which became her base for the rest of her life.

Professional career

After her first appearance in America in Liza in 1922, Elisabeth Welch was the initial singer of the Charleston in the show Runnin' Wild (1923). During the 1920s she appeared in African-American Broadway theatre shows, including Chocolate Dandies (1924) and Blackbirds of 1928 (1928-9). She made relatively few recordings. Before moving to Europe she made only one record - "Doin' The New Lowdown", b/w 'Digga Digga Do", as vocalist for the Irving Mills-assembled "Hotsy Totsy Gang" (Brunswick 4014, 27 July 1928).
One of these was taken to Paris, where in 1929 and 1930, following artist Josephine Baker, she was in cabaret shows, including performances at the Moulin Rouge.

She was asked to return to New York, where she replaced a singer in The New Yorkers (1930-1931) and sang Cole Porter's controversial song "Love for Sale". The composer met her afterwards in Paris, and later invited her to perform his song "Solomon" in Nymph Errant in London in 1933. That year, before this show was available, Welch was given permission to perform in London in Dark Doings, in which she sang "Stormy Weather", newly written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. She subsequently took the song as her signature tune. Welch's show-stopping performance in Nymph Errant was seen by Ivor Novello, and in 1935 he gave her a part in his show Glamorous Night, in which she stood out again singing his blues song "Far Away in Shanty Town".

In the late 1930s Welch entered two media: she appeared in films - usually as a singer, including two with Paul Robeson - and was also one of the first artists to perform on television, appearing on the BBC's new TV service from Alexandra Palace.

During World War II she remained in London in spite of the Blitz. She also entertained the armed forces along with many other artists.

After the war she was in many West End theatre shows, including revues. She continued on both television and radio, and was even in one pantomime, Aladdin. She also had a series of one-woman shows, until 1990. She was in the Royal Variety Performance in 1979 and 1986. In 1979 her recording of "Stormy Weather" was used by Derek Jarman in his film version of Shakespeare's Tempest.

In 1980 she returned to New York to appear in Black Broadway after an absence of nearly fifty years, and she appeared there again in 1986, when her one-woman show earned her an Obie Award. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood.

She was the subject of This Is Your Life in October 1985 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews outside London's Palace Theatre.

Her final performance was in 1996, for a television documentary, in which she sang "Stormy Weather", at the age of 93.

Personal life

In 1928 she was married to Luke Smith, a musician, and remained with him until his death in 1936; they had no children.


She died at the age of 99 in Northwood, London, on July 15, 2003.
Elisabeth Welch - Wikipedia 
Elisabeth Welch | Discography & Songs | Discogs
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:


Bee Palmer and "Her Wonderful Jazz band" 
perform in the stage show 'Oh, Bee' for the first of four nights 
at the Columbia Theater, Davenport, Iowa, USA.

The Hot Five, including Louis Armstrong, play at the first 
OKeh Race Record Artist’s Night in 
The Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois, USA. 
Also on the bill is Lonnie Johnson.

Ethel Levey died at aged 74, in New York City.
Ethel Levey (November 22, 1880 – February 27, 1955) was an American actress, dancer, and singer in musical theatre and on the vaudeville stage. She was the first wife of George M. Cohan, and the second wife of aviator Claude Grahame-White.

Born: November 22, 1880, San Francisco, CA

Died: February 27, 1955, New York, NY

Ethel Levey

J. C. Johnson, piano/songwriter
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 84.
Jay Cee Johnson, usually known as J. C. Johnson and in some sources, mistakenly, as James C. Johnson, was an American pianist and songwriter, best known for his collaborations with Fats Waller and Bessie Smith. He was born in Chicago, and moved to New York City in the early 1920s. Wikipedia
Born: September 14, 1896, United States

Died: February 27, 1981, New York, NY

Sara Dean, vocals
died in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Age: 76.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include: 


Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra
  • Sometime (Introducing: "The Tune You Can't Forget"/"Any Kind Of Man"/"Keep On Smiling")

Paul Biese Orchestra - On The Alamo

Paul Biese Orchestra - Teasin'


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - Burning Sands

Bennie Krueger and his Orchestra

Waring's Pennsylvanians - At The End Of The Road

The Melody Sheiks
  • Let's Talk About My Sweetie - Vocal Chorus by Billy Jones

Williamson's Beale Street Frolic Orchestra - Scandinavian Stomp


Walter Barnes and his Royal Creolians

Lonnie Johnson - I Want A Little Some O' That What You Got - Piano Accompaniment by Jimmy Foster

The DeBroy Somers Band

  • Shinaniki Da
  • Bogey Wail
  • I'm Tickled To Death I'm Me

Cliff Jackson and his Crazy Kats - The Terror
  • Apart From You
  • Because I'm Lonesome
  • Desert Blues
  • No-One But Betty Brown
  • Ring Around The Moon
  • She's Just The Baby For Me
  • Soubrette
  • Waiting Thru The Night
Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys - 'Tain't No Sin (To Take Off Your Skin, and Dance Around In Your Bones)

I'm Following You - Talkie Hit from Motion Picture "It's A Great Life"

Annette Hanshaw - Cooking Breakfast For The One I Love


Ben Selvin and his Orchestra - Learn to Croon

Bing Crosby and Jimmy Dorsey's Orchestra - Never In A Million Years
  • In A Little Hula Heaven
~Words By Edgar Leslie 
~Music By Walter Donaldson

When you hear sweet syncopation, and the music softly moans

't ain't no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

When it gets too hot for comfort, and you can't get an ice cream cone

't ain't no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

Just like those bamboo babies, down in the South Sea tropic zone

't ain't no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

When you hear sweet syncopation, and the music softly moans

't ain't no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

When it gets too hot for comfort, and you can't get an ice cream cone

't ain't no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

Just like those bamboo babies, down in the South Sea tropic zone

't ain't no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

brought to you by... 


Special Thanks To:
The Red Hot Jazz Archives,
The Big Band Database, Scott Yanow, 

and all those who have provided content,
images and sound files for this site.