Sunday

JANUARY 26TH

HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  STEPHANE  GRAPPELLI

BIRTHDAYS


1908
Stephane Grappelli, Violin
b. Paris, France
d. Dec. 1, 1997.
Biography ~by Scott Yanow

One of the all-time great jazz violinists (ranking with Joe Venuti and Stuff Smith as one of the big three of pre-bop), Stéphane Grappelli's longevity and consistently enthusiastic playing did a great deal to establish the violin as a jazz instrument. He was originally self-taught as both a violinist and a pianist, although during 1924-28 he studied at the Paris Conservatoire.
Grappelli played in movie theaters and dance bands before meeting guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1933. They hit it off musically from the start even though their lifestyles (Grappelli was sophisticated while Django was a gypsy) were very different. Together as Quintet of the Hot Club of France (comprised of violin, three acoustic guitars and bass) during 1933-39 they produced a sensational series of recordings and performances.
Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli
During a London engagement in 1939, World War II broke out. Reinhardt rashly decided to return to France but Grappelli stayed in England, effectively ending the group. The violinist soon teamed up with the young pianist George Shearing in a new band that worked steadily through the war.
In 1946, Grappelli and Reinhardt had the first of several reunions although they never worked together again on a regular basis (despite many new recordings). Grappelli performed throughout the 1950s and '60s in clubs throughout Europe and, other than recordings with Duke Ellington (Violin Summit) and Joe Venuti, he remained somewhat obscure in the U.S. until he began regularly touring the world in the early '70s.
Since then Grappelli has been a constant traveler and a consistent poll-winner, remaining very open-minded without altering his swing style; he has recorded with David Grisman, Earl Hines, Bill Coleman, Larry Coryell, Oscar Peterson, Jean Luc Ponty and McCoy Tyner among many others. Active up until near the end, the increasingly frail Grappelli remained at the top of his field even when he was 89.  His early recordings are all available on Classics CDs and he recorded quite extensively during his final three decades.

1924
Alice Babs, Vocal
b. Kalmar, Sweden Biography ~by Scott Yanow A popular singer when she was still a young teenager, Alice Babs has had a long and varied career. She made her recording debut in 1939 at the age of 15 and, although her yodelling made her initially popular and the novelty "Swing It, Mr. Teacher" was her first hit, Babs even at the start had a highly appealing voice and a lightly swinging style. She mostly recorded in jazz and swing-oriented settings throughout the years of World War II.
Babs remained active throughout the 1950s and '60s in Europe, singing everything from jazz (recording with Duke Ellington in 1963 and performing the classic "Heaven" at his second spiritual concert) and pop to a bit of classical music. By the late '70s, Alice Babs had become less active but into the mid-'90s, she occasionally performed on special occasions. Although her important first set with Duke Ellington (on Reprise) remains out of print, a Phontastic CD (Swing It!) does a fine job of summing up her first 15 years on records.
1922
Page Cavanaugh, piano/vocals
b. Cherokee, KS, USA.
né: Walter Page Cavanaugh.
Biography ~by Scott Yanow A talented veteran pianist/vocalist, Page Cavanaugh and his trio (with guitarist Al Viola and bassist Lloyd Pratt) were quite popular during the latter half of the 1940s. Cavanaugh started taking piano lessons when he was nine. He picked up early experience playing with the Ernie Williamson band (1938-1939). While in the military, he first met up with Viola and Pratt. After their discharge, the trio's swinging playing (inspired by the Nat King Cole Trio), plus their whispered vocals, made them a hit during the mid- to late '40s; among their best-sellers were "The Three Bears," "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," and "All of Me." The group appeared in several movies including A Song Is Born and Romance on the High Seas. Cavanaugh worked steadily in the Los Angeles area for five decades, heading a septet (the Page 7) in the early '60s, and performing regularly with his trio (which once again includes Al Viola) beginning in the late '80s. His earlier RCA dates are difficult to find, but he recorded in 1989 for Star Line.  Page Cavanaugh - Wikipedia
1923
Talib Ahmad Dawud (né: Al Barrymore), Trumpet
b. Antigua, BWI
d. July 9, 1999. 
Biography 
~by Eugene Chadbourne 
This trumpeter composed a jazz standard that seems more like a desirable address, "Bop Alley," married singer Dakota Staton, and in 1959 retired from the music business to run an African import shop in New York City. Talib Dawud was an import himself, from the British West Indies to the United States. His original name was Al Barrymore and he was taught the horn by his father, likewise a trumpeter. Dawud's dad played in marching bands; his mother was a singer who provided her own piano accompaniment. Dawud also learned both banjo and organ prior to coming to America.
His high-school and music-school years were spent in New York City -- Juilliard in the latter case. The trumpeter began performing in the Big Apple perhaps as early as 1939, joining Tiny Bradshaw the following year and subsequently moving through a variety of high-profile ensembles, including the bands of Louis Armstrong, Benny Carter, Andy Kirk, Jimmie Lunceford, and Roy Eldridge. A pair of two-year periods with Dizzy Gillespie, one beginning in 1947 and the other a decade later, resulted in recorded documentation that dominates Dawud's discographical neighborhood like a large mansion. Perhaps this is only appropriate, since Gillespie was Dawud's favorite trumpeter. Dawud and Staton were wed in 1958.
Talib Dawud: Information from Answers.com


1899
Howard "Doc" Hopkins
C&W Singer/Banjo/Guitar
b. Wallins Creek (Harlan County), KY, USA 
Member: "Cumberland Ridge Runners"
It seems that someone called "Doc" wasn't really a doctor, but it was actually his real name - Doctor! Early on, he did the old folk songs and ballads. Back then, some thought he was the best thing going for old time folk music of the mountains where he grew up. He grew up in Harlan County, Kentucky, raised on corn bread.
He not only knew the songs, but knew the stories of how those songs came about. He'd even explain how the melodies came to be and were carried on through the years. He noted that the reason many of the old songs were sad was because tragedy was a part of the life of the early pioneers. The songs were a way telling their stories and experiences. Hillbilly-Music.com - Doc Hopkins
1900
Clayton McMichen, (Old-time Country) Fiddler
b. Allatoona, GA, USA. Born in Allatoona, Georgia, McMichen learned to play the fiddle from his father and uncle. He moved to Atlanta with his family in 1913, working as an automobile mechanic. While there, he entered and won several competitions for fiddle. McMichen formed the Hometown Boys in 1918 and on September 18, 1922, they made their first radio debut. In 1925, he began recording with the Skillet Lickers. They became one of the nation's most successful country acts of the 1920s, and recorded profusely. McMichen's first solo success was the 1927 hit "Sweet Bunch of Roses", which sold over 100,000 records. He also recorded crooner ballads under the name Bob Nichols, but only hit with the tune "My Carolina Home". One of his best-known tunes was "Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia", recorded by Jimmie Rodgers. The Skillet Lickers split in 1931, and McMichen organized a new band called the Georgia Wildcats, playing old timey, pop and jazz. They worked around the South, Northeast and Midwest until 1939. The band included guitarist Slim Bryant and, for a time, fiddler Carl Cotner and guitarist Merle Travis. They recorded for Decca from 1935-38, settling in Louisville. When he decided to form a full-sized dance band, Bryant took the smaller group and departed with McMichen's blessing. McMichen continued performing in Louisville until retiring in 1955. 
He was asked to restart his career during the folk revival of the 1960s, but was initially reticent; however, his performances at the Bean Blossom festival and the Newport Folk Festival in 1964 were successes. He continued to perform almost up until his death in 1970. In 1988, Merle Travis and Mac Wiseman released a double LP album called The Clayton McMichen Story in tribute to him.

1905
Maria Von Trapp, Vocals
d: March 28, 1987.
Member: Trapp Family Singers.
This Baroness' life also inspired the motion picture "Sound of Music".
1913
Jimmy Van Heusen, composer 
b. Syracuse, NY, USA 
d. Feb. 7, 1990, Rancho Mirage, CA 
Jimmy Van Heusen was born Edward Chester Babcock at Syracuse, NY. He was a composer of many popular songs with his lyricist partners Johnny Burke and Sammy Cahn. One of his 76 songs that Frank Sinatra recorded was “My Kind of Town.” Van Heusen won four Academy Awards for songs in movies such as Going My Way (1944). He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame when it was founded in 1971. Van Heusen died Feb 7, 1990, at Rancho Mirage, CA. 
Jimmy Van Heusen Website
1908
Crawford Wethington
Clarinet/Alto-Sax 
b. Chicago, IL, USA 
né: Arthur Crawford Wethington.
An early jazz saxophonist, Crawford Wethington's most significant musical associations were with trumpeter Louis Armstrong, and a popular dance band of the '30s, the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (named after its leader, impresario Irving Mills). Wethington learned to play in Chicago, studying at the Chicago College of Music. He performed around Chicago in the '20s with pianist Lottie E. Hightower's Night Hawks and violinist Carroll Dickerson's band. In 1929 Wethington backed Armstrong in New York as a member of Dickerson's group, which also included pianist Earl Hines.
Thereafter he began playing with the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, performing and recording with them from 1930-36. In 1934, as a member of the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Wethington appeared in a Vitaphone/Warner Bros. short film, Mills Blue Rhythm Band. Besides working as a performer, Wethington also taught music.
After a stint with pianist/bandleader Edgar Hayes in 1937, Wethington stopped playing music full-time, though he continued to work as a teacher. During his career Wethington also worked with Cab Calloway, Adelaide Hall, and Henry "Red" Allen, among others. In the '60s, he worked as supervisor at a New York City transit system power facility.
~ Chris Kelsey
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

1934.
The Apollo Theatre opened in New York City as a "Negro vaudeville" house. It was originally known as 'The Hurtig And Seamon's Burlesque', a 1750 seat theater. The Apollo Theater opened in 1913 or 1914 as a burlesque theater. The building was sold in 1934 and renamed the 125th Street Apollo, after an Apollo Theater that had been established in Harlem in the late nineteenth century. The theater shortly after merged with the Harlem Opera House. There were amateur nights at The Apollo, where a seventeen-year-old Ella Fitzgerald made her debut on November 21, 1934. The Apollo is regarded as having launched her career, as well as that of Billie Holiday and, much later, those of James Brown, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin, as well as numerous others. The venue fell into disrepair during the 1960s and 190s, was converted into a movie theater in 1975, was reborn as a live theater in 1983 and is still a thriving music venue today.
Apollo Theater - Wikipedia'
MORE



1948.
John Lomax Sr.
author/folklorist
died in Greenville, MS, USA.



1959.
Irving Levy, promoter
died in New York, NY.

1959.
Goebel Reeves
(Country/Folk/Western)
Singer-Songwriter/Guitar
died in Long Beach, CA, USA.  Age: 59

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include: 

1924

Raderman's Jazz Orchestra - “Don't Leave Me Mammy”, (Conrad / Santly)


1925

Bix Beiderbecke and his Rhythm Jugglers

1926

Ted Lewis and his Band

The Carlton Hotel Dance Orchestra
  • I'm On My Way To Dreamland
  • Headin' For Louisville
  • I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight
  • Say It - When You Get The Chance


Bert Firman's Dance Orchestra (The Carlton Hotel Dance Orchestra) - Headin' For Louisville


1927

Monette Moore


Miff Mole and his (Little) Molers - “Some Sweet Day”, (Rose / Jackson / Olman)


1929

Clara Smith - “Daddy Don't Put That Thing On Me Blues”, (Clement)

“It's Tight Like That”, (Thomas A. Dorsey / Hudson Whittaker)


Dorsey Brothers Orchestra - “Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)”, (Cole Porter)


The Music Masters (a pseudonym for Jay Whidden And His Band)
  • Chloe

1934


Jimmie Lunceford - Jazznocracy


1935


Lew Stone and his Band - Pop Goes Your Heart
  • Thank You So Much Mrs Lowsborough-Goodby


    1940

    Mary Lou Williams


      LYRICS:

      Listen here, folks, I'm gonna sing a little song,
      Don't get mad, I don't mean no wrong;
      You know, it's tight like that!
      Aw, it's tight like that!
      You hear me talkin' to you,
      I mean, it's tight like that!
      If you see my gal, tell her to hurry home,
      I ain't had no sleep since she's been gone;
      You know, it's tight like that!
      I mean it's tight like that!
      You hear me talkin' to you,
      I mean, it's tight like that!
      Uncle Bill came home, 'bout half past ten,
      Couldn't find the key so he couldn't get in;
      Aw, it's tight like that!
      I mean, it's tight like that!
      You hear me talkin' to you,
      I mean, it's tight like that!
      Oh, it's tight like that!
      Oh, it's tight like what?
      Oh, it's tight like this!
      Now, look a-here, folks, I'm gonna sing a little song,
      I hope you don't get mad, 'cause I don't mean no wrong,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      Yes, sir,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      Yes, sir, mmmm,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      When you see a spider goin' up the wall,
      He's goin' up there to get his ashes hauled,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      Yes, sir,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      Yes, sir, mmmm,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      Gonna roll my britches up above my knees,
      Gonna strut my stuff with whoever I please,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      Yes, sir,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      Yes, sir, mmmm,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      My baby says she likes her lovin' done
      Early in the morning before the rising sun,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      Yes, sir,
      'Cause it's tight like that!
      Yes, sir, mmmm,
      'Cause it's tight like that!

      TubaGirlFin
      brought to you by... 
      ~confetta


      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.