*** HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAE WEST ***
Mae West, singer/actror/playwright
d. Nov. 22, 1980, Hollywood, CA, USA.
(complications from strokes).
née: Mary Jane Mae West.
During her career, Mae appeared in Burlesque, vaudeville, Broadway and movies. Among her films are 'She Done Him Wrong' (1933, a film which made Cary Grant a star), and 'My Little Chickadee' (1940, co-starring W. C. Fields). As a playwright, her works include 'Sex' (1926, for which she was arrested and spent ten days in jail on obscenity charges), and 'Diamond Lil' (1928, a huge Broadway success).
The 1978 film 'Sextette' was her last. Her demise came when she suffered a series of Strokes. Her autobiography, entitled "Goodness had nothing to do with it", is a line she spoke in her very first film "Night After Night". A hat check girl, after seeing Mae's jewlery. exclaimed, "Goodness! What lovely diamonds!" Mae replied, "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie." Although Mae had only a small part, she displayed a wit that would to make her world famous. Movie-goers fell in love with the first woman to make racy comments on film. Her co-star, George Raft, said of Mae, "She stole everything but the cameras."
Walter Brown, vocals
b. Dallas, TX, USA.
Worked with Jay McShann Blues singer Walter Brown fronted the roaring Jay McShann Orchestra (which included young alto saxist Charlie Parker) in 1941, when the roaring Kansas City aggregation cut their classic "Confessin' The Blues" and "Hootie Blues" for Decca. The Dallas native remained with McShann from 1941 to '45 before going solo (with less successful results).
~ Bill Dahl
Sam "The Man" Butera, tenor sax
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
Worked with Sammy Davis, but most remembered for his work with Louis Prima (and Prima's then wife and vocalist, Keely Smith).
Larry Clinton, leader/arranger/composer
b. Brooklyn, NY, USA.
d. May 2, 1985, Tucson, AZ, USA.
Tag: "The Old Dipsy Doodler".
Larry Clinton (August 17, 1909 – May 2, 1985) was a trumpeter who became a prominent American bandleader.
Clinton was born in Brooklyn, New York. He became a versatile musician, capable of playing trumpet, trombone, and clarinet. While in his twenties, he became a prolific arranger for dance orchestras; bandleaders Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Glen Gray, Louis Armstrong, and Bunny Berigan all used Larry Clinton charts.
His first stint as a bandleader was from 1937 to 1941, and he recorded a string of hits for Victor Records. The Clinton band's repertoire was split between pop tunes of the day ("I Double Dare You," "Summer Souvenirs," etc.), ambitious instrumentals penned by Clinton (the most popular, "A Study in Brown," begat four sequels in different "colors"). and swing adaptations of classical compositions. This last category swept the industry, and orchestras everywhere were "swinging the classics" by adding pop lyrics to melodies by Debussyand Tchaikovsky. His version of Debussy’s "Reverie", with vocalist Bea Wain, was particularly popular. Entitled "My Reverie", his version peaked at #1 on Billboard's Record Buying Guide in 1938.
Clinton's band was predominantly a recording group that also played college proms and hotel ballrooms. On the strength of Clinton's record hit "The Dipsy Doodle," Vitaphone and Paramount Pictures signed the band to star in three 10-minute theatrical films. All three were filmed in New York.
In 1941 Clinton and his band appeared in six short musical films, designed for then-popular "movie jukeboxes." (The films were ultimately released as Soundies in 1943.) This was one of his last jobs as a bandleader; he quit the music business upon the outbreak of World War II, and became as a flight instructor. He resumed his musical career and enjoyed further success as a bandleader from 1948 to 1950. He remained active in the music business until 1961. He died in 1985 inTucson, Arizona, at the age of 75.
Georgia Gibbs, vocals
b. Worcester, MA, USA.
d. 9 December 2006, New York City, New York, USA.
d. 9 December 2006, New York City, New York, USA.
née: Fredda Lipson or Gibson.
Tag: 'Her Nibs, Miss George Gibbs'.
When Gibbs was six months old, her father died and she was placed in an orphanage for some six years. Reclaimed by her mother, she then took as her surname, her mother's new married name, Gibson. When building her career in the 50s, Gibbs was unfairly maligned by rock critics for covering the R&B hits of LaVern Baker and Etta James. In reality, she was a genuinely talented pop vocalist, whose jazz-tinged approach reflected years of experience in the big band era, a period when there was no stigma attached to cover versions.
Gibbs' big break in showbusiness came in 1936 when she joined the Will Hudson-Eddie De Lange Orchestra, recording for Brunswick Records. That led to a radio career in 1937, including Your Hit Parade. There were also recording stints with the bands of Frank Trumbauer (1940), Artie Shaw (1942) and Tommy Dorsey (1944). On the Jimmy Durante Camel Caravan radio show 1943-47, Gibbs received her trademark nickname when host Garry Moore dubbed her "Her Nibs, Miss Gibbs".
Gibbs first entered the charts in 1950 with a cover version of Eileen Barton's "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked A Cake" (number 5 pop), and had her first number 1 hit with "Kiss Of Fire", a vocal version of the 30s tango instrumental "El Choclo". After gaining another hit with "Seven Lonely Days" (number 5 pop 1953), Gibbs achieved notoriety in 1955 when she hit with two note-for-note cover versions of R&B tunes - "Tweedle Dee" (US pop number 2) by Baker and "Dance With Me, Henry" (US pop number 1) by James. "Kiss Me Another" (US pop number 30) and "Tra La La" (US pop number 24) kept her in the public eye in 1956, but not for long. Her last chart record was "The Hula Hoop Song" (US pop Top 40, 1958), which tried to ride the success of the silly toy fad. In the UK, Gibb's chart success was minuscule, constituting two one-week appearances by "Tweedle Dee" and "Kiss Me Another", respectively.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.
Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson, guitar
b. Tyler, TX, USA.
(aka: "Little Son" Jackson).
Lil' Son Jackson was a stylistic throwback from the moment he first turned up during the immediate postwar era. Born Melvin Jackson, he was a Texas country bluesman of the highest order whose rustic approach appealed wholeheartedly to the early-'50s blues marketplace. His dad loved blues, while his mother played gospel guitar. Their son's initial experience came with a spiritual aggregation called the Blue Eagle Four. A mechanic by trade, he served in the Army during World War II before giving the idea of being a professional blues musician a shot.
In 1946, he shipped off a demo to Bill Quinn, who owned a Houston diskery called Gold Star Records. Quinn was suitably impressed, inking Jackson and enjoying a national R&B hit, "Freedom Train Blues," in 1948 for his modest investment. It would prove Jackson's only national hit, although his 1950-1954 output for Imperial Records must have sold consistently, judging from how many sides the L.A. firm issued by the Texas guitarist. Jackson's best Imperial work was recorded solo. Later attempts to squeeze his style into a small band format (his idea, apparently) tended to emphasize his timing eccentricities. His "Rockin' and Rollin'," cut in December of 1950, became better known through a raft of subsequent covers as "Rock Me Baby." He gave up the blues during the mid-'50s after an auto wreck, resuming work as a mechanic. Arhoolie Records boss Chris Strachwitz convinced Jackson to cut an album in 1960, but his comeback proved fleeting. Jackson died May 30, 1976, in Dallas, TX, from cancer.
~ Bill Dahl
George Melly, Jazz vocals
b. Liverpool, England, UK.
Alan George Heywood Melly (17 August 1926 – 5 July 2007) was anEnglish jazz and blues singer, critic, writer and lecturer. From 1965 to 1973 he was a film and television critic for The Observer and lectured on art history, with an emphasis on surrealism.
Ike Abrams Quebec, tenor sax
b. Newark, NJ, USA.
d. Jan. 16, 1963
Ike Abrams Quebec (born August 17, 1918 in Newark, New Jersey, died on January 16, 1963) was a jazz tenor saxophonist. His surname is pronounced KYOO-bek.
Critic Alex Henderson writes, "Though he was never an innovator, Quebec had a big, breathy sound that was distinctive and easily recognizable, and he was quite consistent when it came to down-home blues, sexy ballads, and up-tempo aggression."
Ola Belle Reed
b. Lansing, NC, USA.
Ola Belle Campbell Reed (August 17, 1916–August 16, 2002) was an American folk singer, songwriter and banjo player. Born in Lansing, North Carolina, Reed's songs often speak of Appalachian life and traditions. Her best known songs have been recorded by mainstream bluegrass and country artists. High on a Mountain, has been recorded by Del McCoury, Tim O'Brien, and Marty Stuart. I've Endured, has been recorded by Del McCoury. The annual Ola Belle Reed Homecoming Festival in Lansing celebrates her life and music.
In 1986, Reed was awarded an NEA National Heritage Fellowship.MP3 Bio **The Women of Southern Songbirds (HEAR HER!!) MORE!
b. Williamsport, PA, USA.
Jazz pianist James Sherman played in various swing groups from the mid- to late '30s, but is best known for his hand in composing the jazz standard "Lover Man." Co-written with Jimmy Davis and Roger Ramirez, "Lover Man" was first recorded by Billie Holiday, and has since been recorded by countless jazz vocalists, including Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Lena Horne, Betty Carter, Shirley Horn, and more. In addition to playing with Billie Holiday, Sherman also played piano for other swing groups recording during the mid- to late '30s, including bands fronted by Stuff Smith, Lil Armstrong, and Mildred Bailey.
~ Joslyn Layne
Jack Sperling, drums.
b. Trenton. NJ, USA.
Originally studied the violin, but the rhythm section always interested him. He attended Pennington Central High School in New Jersey, and led the school's dance band. It was Benny Goodman's rendition of Stardust, with Gene Krupa on the drums, that made a big impressions on Jack. Still in High School, he found work with the Al Zahler band in and around the Trenton, New Jersey area where he learned about keeping steady time. It was an invaluable experience for the young drummer. In July of 1941, he joined the Bunny Berigan Orch. (then experiencing rough times), and playing with these seasoned musicians was still another factor in advancing Jack's drumming technique, d. Feb. 26, 2004. Berigan taught Jack to "Swing", and to keep the feeling of the piece alive. He next played at the Fallsview Hotel in the Catskill Mountains (suburban New York City), earning enough to pay for lessions from famed drum instructor Henry Adler.
On November 11, 1942, during WWII, he enlisted in the Navy, and was immediately sent to the Navy School of Music where he studied theory, and harmony. 11 months later, he was transferred to the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Norman, Oklahoma, where he met Tex Beneke. Tex, who at the time held the rating of Chief Specialist, and was in charge of the 'Gremlins Dance Band'. He became the band's drummer and continued to play with the band until the end of 1945, when he was sent back to the Naval School of Music. It was Beneke who got Jack an early discharge so he could become a member of the Glenn Miller Band --the band Miller had planned to form after the war. It was a large ensemble which included strings and a vocal group. The band had such key players, such as Rolly Bundock on Bass, Bobby Gibbons on Guitar and Henry Mancini on piano. The arrangements were written for this band by Billy May, Mancini, Jerry Gray and many others.
In 1949, he joined the 'Les Brown Band of Renown', then playing for the Bob Hope Show. In late 1954, Jack left to play with the Bob Crosby TV show. During this time, he also worked for Disney and other Hollywood studios. He was also active recording TV music. His drumming is heard on "Bewitched" (theme song), "Peter Gunn,""Hogan's Heroes," "Mr. Lucky" and a host of others. He was the NBC staff drummer for 13 years, playing on the "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" show among others.
During the 1960s, he frequently recorded with Pete Fountain, and is heard on the "Pete Fountain Day" and "Pet Project" albums. As a drummer, he occasionally filled in for the Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Buddy Rich Bands. Jack's drumming can be heard on such albums as: "Live!" (Abe Most ), "Hello Dolly to Goodbye Charlie" (Bobby Darin), "Chet Atkins in Hollywood", "Dave Pell Octet Plays Irving Berlin", "Dave Pell Octet Plays Burke and Van Heusen", "Get Happy" (Ella Fitzgerald ), "Mellow Guitar" (George Van Eps), "Original Reunion Band" (Glenn Miller), and "Charade" (Henry Mancini).
Jack can be heard on the following Les Brown Band albums: "Anything Goes", "Digital Swing Over the Rainbow", "Hollywood Palladium", and "Hollywood Palladium, Vol. 2". He played drums with Megan West -"Megan West Swingin' Big Band", with Paul Smith on the album "Saratoga", and he's on the album "Peanuts Hucko with His Pied Piper Quintet" . He can be heard on the Pete Fountain albums "Music from Dixie", "South Rampart Street Parade", and "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" He was on the Scatman Crothers album "Oh Yeah!", and with Sheb Wooley's "Purple People Eater" album. He can be heard on Tex Beneke's albums "Palladium Patrol", Dancers Delight", and "Jukebox Saturday Night". He has also recorded with Thomas Talbert, and many others. Jack is alive and well today (Aug. 17, 2002) and still playing.
Gloria Van, Vocalist
b: Alliance, OH, USA
d: Dec. 24, 2002, Kidney Failure.
née: Lucia Fanolla.
Born same year as singer Jo Stafford. At age 5 her family moved to southeast side of Chicago, where her father, a baker, found work selling Yeast. It was the Prohibition period, and he was selling to two Gangs who needed the yeast for their 'bootleg' beer works. Mobster Al Capone 'requested' him to sell only to the Capone gang. Feeling that this was not essential, he continued. In 1929, Chicago Police found him dead. After completing high school and then working briefly as a clerk at Goldblatt's Bakery, Van found work a few nights a week singing popular tunes at Siegel's Barbecue Stand on the South Side (of Chicago) before working full time at Knowle's Cafe in Hyde Park. Subsequently, Ms. Van would find full time work singing with such bands as Johnny "Scat" Davis, Art Van Damme, Hal McIntyre, and Gene Krupa, all of whom also toured widely.
By now, She had taken the stage name of Gloria Van, and would appear on stage wearing sequined gowns. She was the singer on NBC television's "Wayne King Show," where she was dressed sometimes as an Italian peasant girl, or as a Native American Indian on the variety show. Gloria, a woman whom some said defined "torch singer", next became a regular on Jack Paar's "The Tonight Show". In 1960, at composer Hoagie Carmichael's request, she sang his song "Stardust", with a 100-piece orchestra at the Chicago Music Festival in Soldier Field. She was often a guest performer on TV shows including those of comedian Bob Hope, Don McNeil's Breakfast Club, and Chance of A Lifetime.
Gloria's met her husband, Lynn Allison, (Sax and vocals) when they were both working with the Gene Krupa band. Lynn later also worked with the Glenn Miller band. and had his own music shop. (Lynn died in 1993.) During that time, Gloria stayed home caring for their three children. She also worked in the insurance industry, and, after undergoing two successful open-heart surgeries, she joined 'Mended Hearts', a group that visits recovering heart patients. And, she kept right on singing! In subsequent years, Gloria worked with the Dick Kress Band and the Elk Grove, Mt. Prospect and Yorkville community bands. Just three months before her demise, she appeared with Rick Falotta and the Yorkville band at the Paramount Arts Center in Aurora, Illinois. Gloria possessed a very smooth Big Band singing voice and loved performing. She was survived by her two daughters, Sue Stuberg and Nan Allison; and six grandchildren.
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:
James "Buddy" Butts, vocals
died in Norfolk, VA, USA.
Member: 'Norfolk Jubilee'
Tab Smith, arranger/alto sax
died in St. Louis, MO, USA.
Tab Smith - Wikipedia
Tab Smith - Wikipedia
Lyricist Ira Gershwin
dies in Hollywood, CA, USA.
Hammie Nixon, Blues harmonica
died in Brownsville, TN, USA.
Pearl Bailey, actress/singer
died in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Age: 72 (Coronary).
W. L. Richardson, vocals
died in Nashville, TN, USA.
Member: 'Fairfield Four'
"Wild" Bill Davis, organ/piano/arranger
died in Moorestown, NJ, USA.
Worked with Louis Jordan
On This Date Include:
Borbee's Jass Orchestra
- The Ragtime Volunteers Are Off To War
Original Dixieland Jass Band
- Barnyard Blues
- Tiger Rag
Wilbur Sweatman's Jazz Orchestra
- Rock-ABye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody
- Those Draftin' Blues (Introducing: "Somebody's Done Me Wrong")
The Happy Six
- South Sea Isles (Introducing "She's Just A Baby" from George White's Scandals of 1921)
Bailey's Lucky Seven
- Hot Lips
Benson Orchestra of Chicago
- Sobbin' Blues
Thomas Morris and his Seven Hot Babies
- Georgia Grind -
- Ham Gravy
Sissle and Blake
- Ukelele Lullaby
The Little Ramblers
- And Then I Forget
- My Cutey's Due At Two-To-Two Today
- Evil Woman Blues
- Sabine River Blues
Isham Jones and his Orchestra
- I Only Found You For Somebody Else
- Music, Music Everywhere (But Not A Song In My Heart)
- Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia
Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra
- Bass Drum Dan
Fats Waller and his Rhythm
- Don't Let It Bother You
- Have a Little Dream On Me
- You're Not the Only Oyster In the Stew
A GUY WHAT TAKES HIS TIME
From the film "She Done Him Wrong" (1933)
Anyone can see what's the matter with me
I've been hurried and rushed off my feet
Never had a minute's repose from walking the street
So I've thought it out and there isn't any doubt
My conclusion is all for the best
I need someone who can supply comfort and some rest
A guy what takes his time, I'll go for any time
I'm a fast movin' gal who likes them slow
Got no use for fancy drivin', want to see a guy arrivin' in low.
I'd be satisfied, electrified to know a guy what takes his time
A hurry-up affair, I always give the air
Wouldn't give any rushin' gent a smile.
I would go for any singer who would condescend to linger awhile
What a lullaby would be supplied to have a guy what takes his time
A guy what takes his time, I'd go for any time
A hasty job really spoils a master's touch
I don't like a big commotion, I'm a demon for slow motion or such
Why should I deny that I would die to know a guy who takes his time
There isn't any fun in getting something done
If you're rushed when you have to make the grade
I can spot an amateur, appreciate a connesseur in his trade
Who would qualify, no alibi, to be the guy who takes his time