1890 Carlos Gardel vocals (Tango) b. Toulouse, France d. June 24, 1935, Medellin, Colombia. (airplane accident) nee: Charles Romuald Gardel.
Carlos was (is) perhaps the most revered Argentine singer of Tangos and Milongas, His fans called him "El Zorzal Criollo, the songbird of Buenos Aires," He invented the "tango song", thus making the previously considered vulgar Tango music and dance not only acceptable, but desirable. He has become a legendary hero of the Tango. When he died in a tragic aeroplane take-off accident, millions around the U.S.A. and Latin America mourned his passing. (One woman in Havana, Cuba, even committed suicide.) Today, there is a famous Argentine saying: "He sings better every day." Sixty five years after his demise, a fiercly devoted following keeps his legend alive by playing his music every day.
1920 Eddie Johnson, tenor sax b. Napoleonville, LA, USA
Eddie Johnson played with the Coleman Hawkins Ocet in 1940, and various bands in Chicago in the early 40's - when he got the call to play in Cootie Williams big band in 1946. He also played and recorded with Louis Jordan in 1947/8 (and took the gig with Jordan OVER Ellington - the pay was better), and then settled back in Chicago doing small combo jobs. A stellar recording session w Eddie South was done in 1951, as well as a few incredible Chess 78's ("Walk Softly" was his favorite - a great record, BTW I know what they say about the trombone NOT being John Avant, however both Avant and Johnson told me he was the trombonist). Johnson ended up working day jobs after an illness in the early 50's - though he played every weekend with band like Eddie King, Johnny Pate, George Dixon and Art Hodes - he even recorded with Duke Ellington in 1964 (the "Mary Poppins" LP subbing for an ailing Gonsalves).
Eddie Johnson - Tenor sax
He got back into the scene full time around 1980 - and recorded with my studio sessions in 1981 (including his composition "Tiptoe") and recorded 2 excellent albums under his own name - for Nessa ("Indian Summer" issued in 1982 with the very underrated Paul Serrano on trumpet) and a quartet date for Delmark. It is unfortunate that about the time Delmark issued the material I recorded w Eddie, he was no longer playing sax - he on occasion plays flute for his own pleasure, and will be 89 on Friday. Eddie happens to be one of the most under rated tenor men in jazz history - he had an incredible tone, and is based in a style he admitted to being between Ben Webster and Don Byas. For someone as modern as he is stylistically, he is superb on the blues - one of the best tenors in fact for blues playing (that may be a Chicago trait).
~Yves François
*Special Thanks to: Yves François &
For providing this detailed biographical
information on Eddie Johnson.
1893 Bat Mosly, Drums b. Algiers, LA, USA. d. 1965
1916 Perez Prado, Piano/Composer b. Matanzas, Cuba d. Sept. 14, 1989. né: Damaso Perez Prado. Universally known as the King of the Mambo, Pérez Prado was the single most important musician involved in the hugely popular Latin dance craze. Whether he actually created the rhythm is somewhat disputed, but it's abundantly clear that Prado developed it into a bright, swinging style with massive appeal for dancers of all backgrounds and classes. Prado's mambo was filled with piercing high-register trumpets, undulating saxophone counterpoint, atmospheric organ (later on), and harmonic ideas borrowed from jazz. While his tight percussion arrangements allowed for little improvisation, they were dense and sharply focused, keeping the underlying syncopations easy for dancers to follow.
Prado played the piano, but was often more in his element as the focal point of the audience's excitement; he leaped, kicked, danced, shouted, grunted, and exhorted his musicians with a dynamic stage presence that put many more sedate conductors and bandleaders to shame. With this blueprint, Prado brought mambo all the way into the pop mainstream, inspiring countless imitators and scoring two number one singles on the pop charts as the fad snowballed (1955's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" and 1958's "Patricia", both smoother than the fare that first made his name).
He was a star throughout most of the Western Hemisphere during the ‘50s, and even after his popularity waned in the United States, he remained a widely respected figure in many Latin countries, especially his adopted home of Mexico. Prado is often best remembered for his softer, more commercial work, which has an undeniable kitschiness that plays well with modern-day lounge-revival hipsters. Unfortunately, that has served to obscure his very real credentials in the realm of authentic, unadulterated Latin dance music, and to this day he remains somewhat underappreciated.
~ Steve Huey
1906 Jack Purvis, Trumpet b. Kokomo, IN, USA. d. March 30, 1962
Jack Purvis had a crazy and somewhat legendary life that has never been fully sorted out. His career in music was actually fairly brief. He began playing trumpet and trombone in a boy's training school, and he worked in local dance bands as early as 1921. Purvis played in Lexington, KY with the Original Kentucky Night Hawks for a few years in the mid-1920s; he also worked to qualify as an airline pilot and studied music in Chicago.
Purvis started freelancing in 1926, worked with Whitey Kaufman's Original Pennsylvanians, visited Europe in 1928 with George Carhart and was with Hal Kemp's Orchestra from 1929-30 (originally as a trombonist before switching to trumpet). He was with The California Ramblers in 1930, had short-term associations with The Dorsey Brothers, Fred Waring (1932-33) and Charlie Barnet (1933), and worked in radio orchestras. Purvis led three recording sessions from 1929-30 that resulted in eight titles, including "Copyin' Louis" and "Mental Strain at Dawn." Additionally, Purvis occasionally sat in on fourth trumpet with Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra and briefly worked as a harpist.
It is at this point in time that Purvis' life outside of music began to interfere with his musical career. Somewhere along the way he began flying in smuggled cargo between Mexico and the U.S., he was a mercenary in South America, and a chef in both Bali and San Francisco. Purvis spent a brief period in California arranging for films, he recorded with Frank Froeba in New York (1935) and worked a bit with Joe Haymes before moving back to Los Angeles where he led a quintet. In June 1937 he began serving a prison sentence for robbery in El Paso, TX. In jail, Purvis played piano and directed the Rhythmic Swingsters, which broadcast on the radio in 1938. After violating his parole, he remained in prison until May 1947. In the years after his release, Purvis worked as a carpenter, chef and radio repairman. No doubt there are many other long-lost Purvis stories!
~ Scott Yanow
Jack Purvis - Wikipedia
1903 Anker Skjoldborg Tenor Sax/Leader b. Copenhagen, Denmark d. April 3, 1986 1909 Arthur Q. Smith C&W songwriter b. Griffin, GA, USA. né: "James Arthur Pickett" Notable Events occuring On this date include:
1949. "Fiddlin'" John Carson, fiddle died in Atlanta, GA, USA. Age: 81
1963. Luis Russell, piano/leader died in New York, NY, USA. Age: 61 Luis Russell
1984. Charles Buchanan, manager (NY Savoy Ballroom) Age: 86
1992. Andy Kirk, leader died in New York (Harlem), NY, USA. Age: 94 Andy Kirk: Information from
Songs Recorded/Released On this date include: 1923
Piron's New Orleans Orchestra
Lee Morse
Bessie Smith
The California Ramblers
Alberta Hunter
Dixieland Jug Blowers
Lillie Delk Christian with Louis Armstrong's Jazz Four
Ted Lewis and his Band
Lizzie Miles
King David's Jug Band
Noble Sissle and his Sizzling Syncopators
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.

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