Tuesday

JUNE 22ND






BIRTHDAYS


1917 
Ken "Snake Hips" Johnson, Dancer/Leader
b. Georgetown, Guyana. d. March 8, 1941.
né: Kendrick Reginald Huymans.
Originally from British Guiana, Johnson's parents sent him to Britain at the age of 15, where he attended Sir William Borlase's Grammar School before studying medicine at Edinburgh University. Having gained an interest in dance, he sought lessons from American choreographer, Buddy Bradley. It was in dance work that he earned his nickname, 'Snakehips', from his "fluid and flexible style".
Johnson was invited to lead Leslie Thompson's band, before going on to start his own, called Ken Johnson and his Rhythm Swingers (later renamed The West Indian Orchestra), which played jazz and swing music. The band had a residency at the London nightclub Café de Paris . It was here on March 8, 1941, during the blitz, that two 50K landmines came through the Rialto roof straight onto the Café dance floor soon after the start of a performance. Eighty people died, including Johnson and most of his band. After pondering for some time as to where to bury him, it was decided that his remains should be placed at his old school, Sir William Borlase's Grammar School. They reside in the school chapel, where a panel is dedicated to him. Legend has it that at a certain time of day and a certain time of year sunlight will shine through a slit in his panel revealing the urn in which his ashes reside.


1909
Joe Loss, leader
b. London, U.K.
d, June 6, 1990, London, UK
Joshua Alexander Loss or Joe Loss OBE (22 June 1909 in Spitalfields, London – 6 June 1990) was an English musician and founder of The Joe Loss Orchestra.

Early life and career
He was the youngest of four children of Israel and Ada Loss, Russian Jews who were first cousins. His father was a cabinet-maker who had an office furnishing business, and his wife, Ada Loss. Joe started violin lessons at the age of seven. He was educated at Jews' Free School, Trinity College of Music and the London College of Music. He played violin at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool and also with Oscar Rabin, but other than that he always fronted a band of his own.

The Joe Loss Orchestra was one of the most successful acts of the Big Band era in the 1940s with hits including "In the Mood". In 1961 they had a hit with 'Wheels Cha Cha', a revival of the String-A-Longs' hit 'Wheels'. Other hits included David Rose's "The Stripper" in 1958 and "March of the Mods (The Finnjenka Dance)" of 1964.
Loss's daughter Jennifer was the wife of famous British coach builder Robert Jankel. Elvis Costello's father, Ross McManus, sang with the Joe Loss Orchestra. The Joe Loss Orchestra carries on to this day under the musical direction of Todd Miller who was a vocalist with the band for many years prior to Joe Loss's death. Todd sought and obtained the permission of Joe's widow to carry on the band's name.



1901
Bram Martin, Leader
b. London, UK
d. July 18, 1984.
1906
Frankie More
C&W, guitar/banjo
b. Louisiana, USA.
Leader of the "Log Cabin Boys". Born on a Louisiana plantation (Uncle Sam Plantation), where one of the workers taught him to play the banjo and guitar. In 1924, he played on Chicago, IL, radio station WLS. After that, he travelled to virtually every state in the USA with Stock, Variety and Presentation stage shows.




1903
Ben Pollack
Drums/Leader
b. Chicago, IL, USA.
d. June 7, 1971
Ben Pollack (June 22, 1903 – June 7, 1971) was a drummer and bandleader from the mid 1920s through the swingera. His eye for talent led him to either discover or employ, at one time or another, musicians such as Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller, Jimmy McPartland and Harry James. This ability earned him the nickname "Father of Swing".
Born in Chicago, Illinois to a well-to-do family, Pollack was largely self taught as a drummer, and was afforded the opportunity to become the drummer for the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, a top jazz outfit, in the early '20s. In 1924 he played for several outfits, including some on the west coast, which ultimately led to his forming a band there in 1925. One of the earliest members of his band was Gil Rodin, a saxophonist whose sharp business acumen served him well later as an executive for the Music Corporation of America (MCA). Rodin also served as the "straw boss' for Pollack along with the young arranger-trombonist Glenn Miller. Already recognized as immensely talented on the clarinet, sixteen-year-old Benny Goodman began working with Pollack in 1925 as well.
In 1926, Pollack recorded for Victor. Many of his records were good sellers. From about 1928, with involvement with Irving Mills, members of Pollack's band moonlighted at Plaza-ARC and recorded a vast quantity of hot dance and out-and-out jazz for their dime store labels (Banner, Perfect, Domino, Cameo, Lincoln, Romeo, and others using colorful names like Mills' Merry Makers, Goody's Good Timers, Kentucky Grasshoppers, Mills' Musical Clowns, The Lumberjacks, Dixie Daises, The Caroliners, The Whoopee Makers, The Hotsy Totsy Gang, Dixie Jazz Band, Jimmy Bracken's Toe Ticklers, and many others). Most of these records are usually listed in discographical books (likeBrian Rust's Jazz Records as by Irving Mills. The rareJack Teagarden's Music book lists them properly as being a "Ben Pollack Unit". Combining Pollack's regular recordings with these side groups made Pollack one of the more prolific bands of the 1920s and 1930's.
Pollack left Victor in late 1929 and subsequently recorded for most of the other labels Hit of the Week (1930), the above listed dime store labels (1930-1931), Victor (1933), Columbia (1933-1934), Brunswick, Vocalion and Variety(1936) and Decca (1937-1938).
The band played in Chicago, mainly, and moved to New York City around the fall of 1928, having obtained McPartland and Teagarden around that time. This outfit enjoyed immense success, playing for Broadway shows, and having an exclusive engagement at the Park Central Hotel. Pollack's band also was involved in extensive recording activity at that time, using a variety of pseudonyms in the studios. The orchestra also made a Vitaphone short subject sound film (which has been recently restored). Pollack, in the meantime, had fancied himself as more of a bandleader-singer type instead of a drummer. To this end, he signed Ray Bauduc to handle the drumming chores.
Soon afterward, things began to become difficult for Ben Pollack. The Stock Market Crash of 1929, and subsequent effects on the music industry as a whole, had a negative effect on all bands at that time, and Pollack's was no exception. Work was scarce, and the band had several periods of inactivity, in spite of Pollack's best efforts in obtaining work. Changes in personnel were also inevitable. Benny Goodman and Jimmy McPartland left the band in the summer of 1929, either fired or quit, depending on whose story is to be believed. They were replaced by Matty Matlock on clarinet and Jack Teagarden's brother, Charlie, on trumpet. Eddie Miller was also signed as a tenor saxophonist in 1930.

Pollack made several forays into the U.S. Midwest in the early 1930s, and also made some trips to Canada. During this time, he became involved with the singing career of his girl vocalist, Doris Robbins. As he was also involved with her romantically, he began to de-emphasize his involvement with band matters, much to the consternation of the musicians. Eventually, Ben Pollack and Doris Robbins married.
Pollack re-formed his band eventually, and had some top-flight talent, including Harry James and Irving Fazola in it, but never really achieved any of the success of his earlier bands. These two stars, also, found greater success after they left Pollack. In the early 1940s, Pollack was the organizer for a band led by comedian Chico Marx. He tried his hand organizing a record label, Jewel Records, and at other venues, including restaurants on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood and in Palm Springs, California. He also appeared, as himself, in the motion picture The Benny Goodman Story and made a cameo appearance in The Glenn Miller Story.
All through this troubled period, Pollack managed to record excellent records and had an occasional hit, like the 1937 "Peckin'", which Pollack co-wrote with Harry James, originally issued on Variety VA-556. Ben Pollack also wrote "Deep Jungle", "Tin Roof Blues" with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, and "Swing Out" with Wingy Manone.
In later years, Pollack grew despondent and 
committed suicide by hanging in Palm Springs in 1971.
More changes came for the band in the spring of 1933 when trombone star Jack Teagarden gave his notice during an engagement in Chicago. It was not long after that, possibly a year, when the rest of the musicians decided to leave Pollack, They re-formed soon after as a co-operative band, fronted by Bing Crosby's brother, Bob.
Ben Pollack co-wrote the jazz standard "Tin Roof Blues" in 1923 when he was a member of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings: the band's trombonist George Brunies is also generally credited as a co-composer. In 1954, Jo Stafford recorded "Make Love to Me", which used Pollack's music from "Tin Roof Blues". "Make Love to Me" was no.1 for three weeks on Billboard and no.2 on Cashbox. The song was also recorded by Anne Murray and B. B. King.
In 1992, Ben Pollack was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame. ~Wikipedia
Ben Pollack
Ben Pollack and His Park Central Orchestra
"Ben Pollack"
Solid! -- Ben Pollack


 

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:


1960.
Odell Rand, clarinet
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 55
Played with the Harlem Hamfats
~by Scott Yanow
Odell Rand was a Chicago-based clarinetist who often played the Eb (rather than Bb) clarinet. An erratic player who often slipped out of tune, Rand popped up on many small-group jazz and blues dates in the 1930s. He is best known for his work with the Harlem Hamfats; additionally, he recorded with Big Bill Broonzy and worked with Baby Dodds and Lil Armstrong for a period in the 1950s. Although he led his own band (the Ebonites) for many years, Rand never recorded as a leader.

1969.
Judy Garland
(b. Frances Ethel Gumm, in Grand Rapids, MN, USA)
died, in London, England. 
Age: 47 (Due to 'an incautious self-overdose of sleeping pills'.)
Judy Garland - Wikipedia


1970.
Harry Brooks, songwriter
died in Teaneck, NJ, USA. Age: 74
Often worked with Fats Waller
Harry Brooks - Wikipedia


1987.
Fred Astaire
died in Los Angeles, CA.
Age: 88.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


1921



The Happy Six
  • Learn To Smile Introducing: "Conversation Step"from "The O'Brien Girl"


Marion Harris
  • I'm Looking For A Bluebird (To Chase My Blues Away)


1923



King Oliver's Jazz Band - High Society Rag
1925


Ted Lewis and his Band
1926

Richard M. Jones' Jazz Wizards - Baby O' Mine
Bennie Krueger and his Orchestra - 1920 Left to right: Herman Farberman (trumpet); Happy Reis (drums); Unknown (cello and bass; Fred Shilling (tb); Bennie Krueger (sax and leader); Harry Reser (banjo); unknown (piano); Ruby Greenberg (violin).

1927


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
1929


Hollywood Shufflers
  • Got A Feelin' For You
  • Low Down Rhythm

1933



Annette Hanshaw - Sing A Little Low-Down Tune

    LYRICS:
    How Many Times?
    ~Irving Berlin


    [1st verse:]
    A fellow with his lady friend walking and talking of love
    A moon that has a silvery lining is shining above
    The girlie says you certainly do like to coo like a dove
    A nervous youth
    A jealous miss
    Who wants the truth
    Is asking this:
    [1st refrain:]
    How many times have you said, 'I love you'?
    How many times have you said, 'I'll be true'?
    How many wonderful sweeties have you told that to?
    How many times has a certain feeling
    Troubled you so that you 'hit the ceiling'?
    How many hands have you held all alone?
    How many lips have you pressed to your own?
    I'd hate to think that you kissed too many
    But I'd feel worse if you hadn't kissed any
    Please tell me how many times
    [2nd verse:]
    A certain thing has puzzled me greatly, just lately, my dear
    Why does a fellow always get stupid when Cupid is near?
    Although I was the smartest at college that knowledge, I fear
    Could never bring
    A Romeo
    The only thing
    He wants to know
    [2nd refrain:]
    How many sighs have you sighed in my ear?
    How many lies have you whispered, my dear?
    How many baby blue eyes have you gazed right into?
    How many loving words have you spoken?
    How many promises have you broken?
    How many times have you left me alone
    Told me had business and yet you come home
    I know where you were because I saw you
    And I got home just a minute before you
    Oh, baby, how many times?


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