Wednesday

MAY 26TH


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMIE SMITH!

BIRTHDAYS

1883
Mamie Smith, Vocals
b. Cincinnati, OH, USA.
d. 1943 USA.
Mamie Smith (May 26, 1883 – September 16, 1946) was an American vaudeville singer, dancer, pianistand actress, who appeared in several motion pictures late in her career. As a vaudeville singer she performed a number of styles including jazz and blues. She entered blues history by being the firstAfrican American to make vocal blues recordings in 1920.
Musical career
On August 10, 1920, Smith recorded the Bradford-penned "Crazy Blues" and "It's Right Here For You, If You Don't Get It, 'Tain't No Fault of Mine". These were the first recordings of vocal blues by an African American singer, and the record became an explosive best seller, selling a million copies in one year. To the surprise of record companies, large numbers of the record were purchased by African-Americans, a market the record industry had hitherto neglected. "Crazy Blues" in particular was noted as a distinctively "colored" number performed by a "colored" performer. Because of the historical significance of "Crazy Blues", it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994 and in 2005 was selected for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.
Although other African-Americans had been recorded earlier, such as George W. Johnson in the 1890s, they were all black artists, who had a substantial following with European-American audiences. The success of Smith's record prompted record companies to seek to record other female blues singers and started the era of what is now known as classic female blues. It also opened up the record industry to recordings by and for African Americans in other genres.
Film career and later yearsMamie Smith continued to make a series of popular recordings for Okeh throughout the 1920s. She also made some records forVictor. She toured the United States and Europe with her band "Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds" as part of "Mamie Smith's Struttin' Along Review". She was billed as "The Queen of the Blues". This billing of Mamie Smith was soon one-upped byBessie Smith, who called herself "The Empress of the Blues".
Mamie Smith appeared in an early sound film, Jail House Blues, in 1929. She retired from recording and performing in 1931. She returned to performing in 1939 to appear in the motion picture Paradise in Harlem produced by her husband Jack Goldberg. She appeared in further films, including Mystery in SwingSunday Sinners (1940), Stolen Paradise (1941), Murder on Lenox Avenue (1941), and Because I Love You (1943). She died in late 1946, in New York. Vuk
~Wikipedia
Mamie Smith



Mamie Smith and the Birth of the Blues Market : NPR



1915
Vernon C. Alley, Bass
b. Winnemucca, NV, USA
d. Oct 3, 2004, San Francisco, CA, USA.


1914
Harold "Shorty" Baker, Trumpet
b. St.Louis, MO, USA.
d. Nov. 8, 1966, New York, NY, USA.
Harold "Shorty" Baker (May 26, 1914 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA – November 8, 1966 in New York City) was a jazz trumpeter.
He started on drums, but switched to trumpet in his teens. He began on riverboats and played with Don Redman in the mid-1930s. He also worked withTeddy Wilson and Andy Kirk before his more noted association with Duke Ellington. He would marry Kirk's pianist Mary Lou Williams and though the two separated shortly thereafter, they never officially divorced. His worked on and off in Duke Ellington's Orchestra from 1942 to 1962. This orchestra's trumpet section had some of the leading trumpeters of the swing to bop era, like Clark Terry and William "Cat" Anderson. He also worked with Johnny Hodges's group in the early 50s.
1914
Ziggy Elman, trumpet
b. Philadelphia, PA, USA.
d. June 26, 1968, Van Nuys, CA, USA.
né: Harry Finkelman.
Harry Aaron Finkelman (May 26, 1914June 26, 1968), better known by the stage name Ziggy Elman, was an American jazz trumpeter most associated with Benny Goodman, though he also led his own Ziggy Elman and His Orchestra.
He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but his family settled in Atlantic City when he was four. His father was a violinist who had hoped he would play violin as well. Although he learned to play the violin, Harry preferred the brass instruments. He began playing for Jewish weddings and nightclubs at age 15, and in 1932 had his first recording where he played trombone. At some point in the decade he adopted the name Ziggy Elman. Elman is a shortening of Finkelman while "Ziggy" is believed to be a reference to Florenz Ziegfeld.
Ziggy Elman and the Barry Sisters
He joined the Benny Goodman orchestra as a trumpet player in 1936. His 1939 composition "And the Angels Sing" with lyrics by Johnny Mercer became the number one song in the nation. In 1956, he was asked to recreate his famous frailach solo along with the original vocalist Martha Tilton for the movie, The Benny Goodman Story but was unable to, his technique having since withered away. Another trumpeter, Manny Klein, played the solo on the soundtrack, but Elman appeared performing it in the film. This song is, arguably, his longest-lasting musical legacy since it has appeared in films up to 1997 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987. After his work with Goodman he joined Tommy Dorsey's band and also played as a member of the military during the war. He loved frailach music, later known as klezmer, and made a few recordings of such with Mickey Katz. In the period from 1940 to 1947 he was honored in Down Beat magazine readers poll six times. He led his own bands starting in 1947.
By the 1950s big bands had declined and for a time he switched to entertainment work. In this decade he appeared in films mostly as himself. In 1956 he had a heart-attack which curtailed his musical career. By the end of the 1950s he had to work for a car dealership and was financially ruined. In 1961 it was revealed at an alimony hearing that he was virtually bankrupt. He later worked in a music store and taught trumpet to some up-and-coming musicians. He died in 1968 at 54 and was buried at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery.



1904
George Formby, Banjo/Comedy
b. Lancashire, UK.
d. March 6, 1961, age 56.
né: George Hoy Booth.
One of Britain's most popular musical/comedians, he left a legacy of over 200 records and he appeared in 20 hit films. A son of an Edwardian Comedian, Formby started out as an apprentice Jockey, but entered the entertainment world upon the death of his father. He had happened upon a banjo, and became self taught on the instrument. Audiences immediately took to his idosyncratic, self-taught style of playing and the instrument was never far from his side. His 1932 recording of "Chinese Blues," (later renamed "Chinese Laundry Blues") was a huge hit and became his signature song.
During World War II, Formby toured extensively, entertaining troops throughout Europe and the Middle East. He was among the first performers to appear in Normandy after the invasion, and was awarded the OBE in 1946 for his efforts. In 1951 Formby suffered a heart attack while starring 'Zip Goes a Million' (Palace Theater -London) and was forced to drop out of his role. He did return to the club circuit the next year but illness would plague him for the next decade. In Dec. 1960 his wife died and just two months later he announced his engagement to a schoolteacher who was 20 years his junior. However, the controversy ended when Formby died just 30 days later. on March 6, 1961 at the age of 56.
1866
Al Jolson, vocalist/actor
b. (exact date unknown) Srednik, Lithuania
d. Oct. 23, 1950, San Francisco, CA, USA.
(heart attack while playing cards).
né: Asa Hesselson Yoelson.
Billed as: "The World's Greatest Entertainer".
His real Birthdate is unknown. "Jolie" picked this date because he wanted to be born in the Spring season. Emigrated to America against his father's (Moishe Yoelson) will, and was soon touring in Minstrel shows working in 'Black Face'. In 1927, Warner Brothers starred him in the first full-length "Talkie" film (The Jazz Singer), making Jolson the first performer to sing in a sound movie.
The songs the Jolson sang in the film including "Toot Toot Tootsie (Goodbye)", "Blue Skies", "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee", and, "My Mammy", all have become part of American, and World, music culture. He did his signature song "Mammy" in blackface, as he had performed it a million times on stage.

The film opened in New York City, and was an immediate success, ringing in the era of 'talking pictures'. Interestingly, none of the songs in the Jazz Singer were true 'Jazz", as we now define the term. By the end of the 1930s, 'Jolie's' film career was over, although he did try to stay active. During the 1940s, he toured overseas performing for American troops fighting WWII. The first three of his marriages (4) ended in divorce, the most famous of which was his marriage to actress Ruby Keeler. His last marriage lasted until his demise.


1920
Peggy Lee
vocals/composer
b. Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
d. Jan. 21, 2002, Los Angeles (Bel Air), CA, USA.
(heart attack).
né: Norma Dolores Egstrom.
Peggy was the product of a troubled, abusive childhood. Her mother died when she was just 4, (one of eight children) and her care was entrusted to her grandmother, who abused the young child. As a child, she turned to singing as an escape. She received encouragement and recognition for her singing both in school and church choirs. In 1938, after graduating from high school, she went to Hollywood, California, but later returned to Fargo, ND, and found work in the WDAY radio station.
When Peggy moved to Minneapolis, MN, she met and began touring with the Will Osborne Band. She was working in a Nightclub when bandleader Benny Goodman discovered her. With Goodman, she went on to become worldwide Star. Some of hit recordings include her signature song, "Why Don't You Do Right", "Blues in the Night", and "The Way You Look Tonight".

After striking out on her own (after two years with Goodman), she had still more hit records including "It's a Good Day" and "Manana" (which she wrote). Lee has starred in several films with Crosby and Danny Thomas. She also starred in the film 'Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)', playing a singer who battles Alcoholism. Her work earned her an Oscar-nomination. She also worked for the Disney organization. In 1955, her singing and speaking voices (and lyrics) were heard in Disney's film 'The Lady and the Tramp'.

In 1958, she had a monster hit with the song "Fever". In 1969, her recording of "Is That All There Is?" won a 'Grammy' award. In 1983, Peggy made her Broadway debut (at age 62), in the autobiographical musical 'Peg'. She memorialized her abusive childhood with the Calypso number 'One Beating a Day', one of the 22 songs she co-wrote for the show. (The show was not a success.) In her declining years, Peggy was dogged by ill health and lawsuits . In 1991, she won a $2.3 million judgement against the Disney company to recoup royalites from videocassette sales of "Lady and the Tramp".
From the 1980s on, she was semi-confined to a wheelchair due to circulation problems and accidental falls. Just a week before her death, she earned preliminary approval of $4.75 million in a class lawsuit. (A group of Decca recording artists, in which she was the lead plaintiff, had sued the Universal Music Group for royalites.) During her career, Peggy has published a book of verse entitled "Softly With Feeling", and Lee has also written music and lyrics, both for herself and the movie industry. She is well recalled today as one of the finest singers of the Big Band Era and beyond.

1908
Arie Maasland, composer/orchestra leader
b. Rotterdam, Holland
d. November 22, 1980, Bussum, Holland.
Age: 72.
Massland used the name of 'A. Malando' when he composed his beautiful Tango "Olé Guapa"


1910
Ady Rosner, Trumpet/Leader
b. May 26, 1910, Berlin, Germany
d. 1976
Ady Rosner is a notable figure in 20th century European music history, who was unfortunately subject to persecution by repressive governments more than once during his career. Born Adolph Ignatievich Rosner, he was creating jazz in Poland long before the days of big budget -- at least in comparison -- festivals and Polish jazz artists appearing at Western shindigs. He was perhaps the most famous of all orchestra leaders in Poland during the mid-'30s, and his was the only Polish group of the period to gain an international reputation, touring extensively throughout the distant lands of Latvia, Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, and France.


Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:


1933.
James Charles "Jimmie" Rodgers
died in a New York City Hotel room.
Age: 35.
Jimmie was called "The Singing Brakeman,"

1949.
Euday Louis Bowman, (Ragtime) piano
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 61.
Ragtime Composer. His best known song was the classic 12th Street Rag, which he wrote about his experience in Kansas City, Kansas copyrighted in 1914. It did not become popular until 1948 when it was recorded by Walter "Pee Wee" Hunt. Other songs written by Bowman including "Fort Worth Blues," were never published.
1958.
"Baby Face Leroy" (Foster) guitar/drums
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 38.
Worked with Muddy Waters
Leroy Foster (musician) - Wikipedia

1973.
J. C. Higginbotham, trombone
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 67.


1974.
C&W Guitarist Hoke Rice
a member of "The Rice Brothers", died.
Age: 75.
1987.
Robert Wilkins, Blues guitar
b. Jan. 16, 1896, Hernando, MS, USA
died in Memphis, TN, USA.
Age: 91. (Some claim d. May 30)




Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


1922



Club Royal Orchestra
  • Syncopate (Introducing "Some Little Someone")


1925



Bessie SmithCareless Love Blues
1928




Martha Copeland - I Can't Give You Anything But Love
  • My Daddy Don't Do Nothin' Bad

1929



Ted Lewis and his Band - I'm The Medicine Man For The Blues

1930



Papa Charlie Jackson - Self Experience

Tom Gerun and his Orchestra
  • Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
  • Around The Corner

LYRICS

BESSIE SMITH - CARELESS LOVE BLUES



Love, oh love, oh careless love,

You've fly though my head like wine

You've wrecked the life

Of many a poor girl
And you nearly spoiled this life of mine

Love, oh love, oh careless love,
In your clutches of desire
You've made me break a many true vow
Then you set my very soul on fire

Love, oh love, oh careless love,
All my happiness bereft
Cause you've filled my heart with weary old blues
Now I'm walkin' talkin' to myself

Love, oh love, oh careless love,
Trusted you now it's too late
You've made me throw my old friend down
That's why I sing this song of hate

Love, oh love, oh careless love,
Night and day I weep and moan
You brought the wrong man into this life of mine
For mysins till judgement I'll atone

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