Connee Boswell, Vocal
b. New Orleans, LA, USA
d. Oct. 11, 1976. Cancer.
The Boswell Sisters were probably the most famous vocal group of the late 1920s and the 1930s. Later, Connee became a hit 'singles' act. The sisters were Martha, (also played piano), and Helvethia (known publically just as "Vette", also played banjo, guitar and violin), and Connee who also could play these instruments, and in addition wrote the arrangements for the trio's beautiful syncopated harmonies. Besides their records for Brunswick, the ladies also recorded with Bunny Berigan, the Dorseys, Mannie Klein and Larry Binyon. The sisters toured to Britain (where they recorded with Ambrose ), and to Holland (where they recorded with the The Ramblers ). Another wonderful singer, Ella Fitzgerald, once told interviewers: "Who influenced me? There was only one - Connee Boswell. She was doing things that no one else was doing at the time." The ladies also appeared in some early Hollywood musicals including "The Big Broadcast of 1932", Moulin Rouge" and "Transatlantic Merry Go Round". In the 1950s (Connee was now a solo act), she had a leading role in Jack Webb's "Pete Kelley's Blues" film.
One of the finest jazz singers of the 1930's, Connee Boswell (who was always cited by Ella Fitzgerald as her main early influence) originally rose to fame as a member of the Boswell Sisters, one of the premiere jazz vocal groups. Connee contracted polio as an infant and always used a wheelchair although her disability was usually well covered up on stage. Early on she played cello, piano, alto sax and trombone but unfortunately never recorded on any instruments.
The three Boswell Sisters (with Martha on piano and Vet on violin) did have an opportunity to perform with the New Orleans Philharmonic but soon they gave up playing their instruments (except for Martha on piano) and chose to work on developing as a vocal group. Although they recorded both "Nights When I'm Lonely" and Connee's solo number "I'm Gonna Cry" in 1925, the Boswells did not begin catching on (and recording regularly) until late-1930. During 1931-36 the Boswell Sisters became quite popular on radio and in concert, making occasional appearances in films (most notably 1932's The Big Broadcast).
During the same period, Connee Boswell (who worked out most of the Boswell's surprising arrangements) occasionally recorded solo sides of her own. When Vet and Martha got married and decided to retire from singing in 1936, Connee (who also was married during the same period) officially launched her own solo career. Although she never broke through to become a major star, Connee Boswell was fairly well-known and worked steadily into the 1950's, appearing in some films (including "Kiss The Boys Goodbye" and "Syncopation") and on the short-lived television show Pete Kelly's Blues. Most notable of her recordings was a 1937 session with Bob Crosby's Bob Cats that resulted in inventive and hard-swinging versions of "Martha" and "Home On The Range." Connee Boswell also recorded a notable (but long-out-of-print) 1956 jazz album with Billy Butterfield, Miff Mole and Jimmy Lytell, who came together as the Original Memphis Five. ~ Scott Yanow
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Corky Cornelius, Trumpet
b. Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
d. August 3, 1943.
The trumpeter Corky Cornelius learned music from his father, a drummer who played in early Texas dance hall bands and used the same nickname as his son, representing either a variation on the Cornelius surname or a passion for opening wine bottles. Young Edward "Corky" Cornelius was born in Hoosier country but was raised in Binghamton, New York. He sadly died of a kidney ailment before he reached his 30th birthday but managed to play on many records in a career that followed certain developments in the legacy of top concert attraction Benny Goodman.
Cornelius began performing in the '30s in ensembles led by Les Brown, Frank Dailey and Buddy Rogers. In the spring of 1939 he joined the Goodman organization which at that time had a star attraction in dynamic drummer Gene Krupa. When Krupa formed his own band in the fall of that year, Cornelius went with him, irritating Goodman. It meant joining forces with hot players such as trumpeter Shorty Sherok and saxophonist Sam Donahue but more importantly meeting singer Irene Daye. Performing on hit records including "Drum Boogie" and "Drummin' Man", Daye became one of the most popular singers in the country. In the early '40s Cornelius left Krupa to join the the Casa Loma Orchestra followed in the pop of a cork by Daye, who became the trumpeter's bride. The singer temporarily quit performing in 1943 to raise their daughter, but returned to the microphone with even greater successful following his death later that year.
~ Eugene Chadbourne
Gussie Lord Davis
Afro-American songwriter
b. Cincinnati, OH, USA.
Gussie Lord Davis (December 3, 1863 - December 18, 1899[1]) was an African-American songwriter from Cincinnati, Ohio. Davis was one of America's earliest successful African-American music artists, having been the first Black songwriter to acquire fame on Tin Pan Alley as a composer of minstrels.
Perhaps his most notable song, Irene, Good Night (1886), entered the folk song repertoire albeit significantly altered as Goodnight, Irene in Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Leadbelly (1936), edited by John Lomax and Alan Lomax.
Rabon Delmore
b. Elkmont, AL, USA
d. Dec. 4, 1952.
Member: 'The Delmore Brothers' and 'The Brown's Ferry Four'
Baron Elliott, Leader/Reeds
b. Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
né: Charles Craft.
Sammy Nestico was in the trombone chair (and did the arranging) while Billy May was playing the trumpet. Vocalist Lisa Kirk later went on to achieve success on the Broadway stage.
Brad Gowans, Trombone
b. Billerica, MA, USA.
d. 1954 Brad Gowans had a colorful and versatile career in prebop jazz, seeking to stretch the boundaries of the music in unusual ways. A multi-instrumentalist who was skilled on both reeds and brass, Gowans alternated early on between clarinet and valve trombone. He worked with the Rhapsody Makers Band, Tommy DeRosa's New Orleans Jazz Band and Perley Breed's Orchestra. He played cornet in 1926 with Joe Venuti, gigged with Jimmy Durante (who led a jazz band during the era) and then worked with Mal Hallett (1927-29) and Bert Lown's Orchestra. Discouraged by the Depression, Gowans worked outside of music for several years before joining Bobby Hackett in 1936.
After working in Boston with Frank Ward, in 1938 he joined Wingy Manone as a valve trombonist and played again with Bobby Hackett. A brief stint with Joe Marsala was followed by Gowans becoming a member of Bud Freeman's Summa Cum Laude Band (1939-40). He was a regular at Nick's, playing dixieland with a variety of top Chicago jazz musicians. After working with Ray McKinley's big band and Art Hodes, Gowans recreated the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (playing clarinet) on an interesting series of recordings. After leaving music for a short period, he played with Max Kaminsky (1945-46), was with the Jimmy Dorsey Big Band and worked with Nappy Lamare (1949-50).
Gowans freelanced (mostly in California and Las Vegas). He collapsed in Jan. 1954 while playing with Eddie Skrivanek's Sextet from Hunger and never recovered, passing away eight months later. Brad Gowans, who wrote arrangements for recordings by Freeman and Lee Wiley and invented the valide (a combination slide/valve trombone that never caught on), made many records as a sideman including with Red Nichols' Red Heads as early as 1926. As a leader he recorded four obscure titles (in 1926, 1927 and 1934) plus a full album for Victor in 1946. ~ Scott Yanow Brad Gowans - Wikipedia
Ronnie Gubertini, Drums
b. England, UK.
d. 1960s
Paul Lingle, Piano
b. Denver, CO, USA.
Worked with his father cornetist Curt Lingle on the Chatauqua Vaudeville circuit 1915-1917, during which time he took interest in music of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and other 'Ragtimers'. Worked with Jimmy Grier's orch. in 1926 and with many other bands. Had own band in San Francisco 1928; In 1929 worked for Warner Bros films as pianist for Al Jolson in 'Sonny Boy' and in 'Mammy'. In 1930s, staff piano at station KPO San Francisco. He became a legend in the 1940s working in nightclubs and winning the acclaim of such jazzmen as Bunk Johnson, Turk Murphy, even Leadbelly. In 1952, he moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, opened his own tuition studio and organized a jazz band there. Paul Lingle was a local legend in San Francisco during the 1940s. A talented stride pianist who also played ragtime, Lingle was a fan of Jelly Roll Morton. He started playing piano when he was six and first worked professionally in San Francisco in the 1920s. Lingle was Al Jolson's accompanist in the late '20s, recording the soundtrack of some of his first sound films. He spent the 1930s working in radio and with Al Zohn's jazz band in San Francisco. During the Dixieland revival of the 1940s, Lingle at first was a piano tuner in Santa Cruz, but by 1944 was playing in San Francisco clubs, generally solo. When Leadbelly and Bunk Johnson passed through town, they both asked for him.
In 1952, Lingle moved to Honolulu where he continued playing up until his death. Unfortunately, he was reluctant to record throughout his career and his only studio session resulted in just eight songs cut for Good Time Jazz in 1952. However, three and a half albums of private tapes from 1951-1952 were released posthumously on the Euphonic label that allow listeners to get a fuller picture of Paul Lingle's talent. ~ Scott Yanow Paul Lingle - Wikipedia
Joe 'Brother Cornbread' Thomas, Clarinet
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. 1981, USA
A huge hunk of cornbread would not have been more welcome during the potato famine than it is as a nickname in the career of New Orleans jazz reed player and vocalist Joe "Cornbread" Thomas. Thanks to the appetizing moniker this superior player -- who kept busy with trad jazz up through his senior years -- has more than a tasty chance of being told apart from the Joe Thomas that played trumpet, the Kansas City jazz saxophonist who took over the Jimmie Lunceford band, or the funky flute player whose recording named Plato's Retreat was a hit.
The New Orleans Thomas is the elder statesman of all these name-alikes, having a bit less than a decade of a head's start over either the trumpeter or the Kansas City jazz Thomas, both of whom were born in 1909. Jelly Roll Morton was among the earliest of bandleaders to put the cornbread in the musical oven, so to speak; at any rate, the Morton discography represents a body of work involving Thomas that has managed to remain in print for listener perusal. Early Thomas can also be sampled on a New Orleans jazz compilation titled Prelude to the Revival, Vol. 1.
Thomas did extremely well through the '60s and '70s in various New Orleans revival outfits, some of them fronted by European and Scandinavian players. Teaming up with the entertaining Kid Sheik Cola, the reedman was also billed as Brother Cornbread during this period, a name that sounds something like a movie that would star Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte, nonetheless effectively documented on a series of live recordings released by the dedicated Jazz Crusade imprint. Thomas was a superb soloist in his later years, often given special billing as in Barry Martyn's Living Legends Band Featuring Joe "Cornbread" Thomas. He also performed and recorded with Peter Nissen's New Orleans Jazz Band.
~ Eugene Chadbourne
Notable Events
On this date include:
Dick Reinhart
(Western Swing) vocalist, died.
Age: 41
Lew Childre
'Grand Ole Opry' star
died in Foley, AL, USA.
"Porkchop" (né: Eddie Hines), drums
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 79
Jimmy Shirley, guitar
died in New York (Harlem), NY, USA.
Songs Released/Recorded
On This Day :
Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orchestra
All Star Trio
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
Original Dixieland Jass Band
Waring's Pennsylvanians
Naylor's Seven Aces
The California Ramblers
Harry Reser and his Orchestra
Ray Miller's Orchestra
Red Mckenzie and his Mound City Blue Blowers
Don't Sing Aloha When I Go
Don't sing Aloha when I go Because I'm coming back you know Don't sing Aloha though I cry Our parting just not means goodbye I'll dream of you in Waikiki That's where I long as long to be Just smile and say you'll miss me so Don't sing Aloha when I go [ steel ] Don't sing Aloha when I go... I'll dream of you in Waikiki.. 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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