Eddie Durham, Trombone
b. San Marcos, TX, USA
d. March 6, 1987, New York, NY. USA.
His father, Joe Durham, played the fiddle at square dances, and his oldest brother, Joe, took correspondence lessons in Music, and in turn taught Eddie and his other brothers to read and write music. By just age 10, Eddie was already performing in public. (Interestingly to note, brother Joe later played cello briefly with a Nat King Cole group.) Circa 1920, Eddie, his brother Roosevelt, along with cousins Allen and Clyde Durham, formed the Durham Brothers Band.
Circa 1924, Eddie was a member of The 101 Ranch Brass Band playing in circuses throughout the Southwest. The band even reached New York City, where they performed in Yankee Stadium.
In 1929, Allen, playing trombone, recorded with Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy Orch. In 1934, Eddie relocated to New York City. Eddie (who was proficient on both Guitar and Trombone) became one of the most important composer-arrangers of the entire Swing era.
The 1935, the Lunceford orchestra recorded a Durham arrangement of "Hittin' the Bottle". It featured Eddie playing an amplified guitar. This made him one of the first Jazz musicians to use an Electric guitar. Durham's guitar style greatly influenced a fellow Texan guitarist, Charles (Charlie) Christian. During the 1930s and 1940s, Durham's original compositions and arrangements contributed greatly to the success of such bands as Bennie Moten, (later Count Basie's band), The Blue Devils, and Jimmy Lunceford.
During the In the 1940s, Durham organized his own, very short lived band, and also directed Eddie Durham's All-Star Girl Orchestra an all-girl orchestra. During the 1950s and 1960s, with the Swing Era long since gone, he was still able to find work as an arranger for various groups. Over his career, Eddie may have composed more that 50 tunes.In the 1980s, Eddie toured Europe with the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band. He died 1987, a giant of American Swing and Jazz.

Isham "Manzie" Johnson, Drums
b. Putnam, CT, USA.
d. 1971.
As a child, he studied Violin and Piano, but later became the pit drummer in Harlem's Lincoln Theater while also playing "socials" around town with such men as James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. "Manzie" is probably best remembered today as the drummer witn Don Redman's band between 1931-'40. One of the most respected Swing era drummers, he played with such bands as Louis Armstrong, the Fletcher and Horace Henderson bands, and even subbed in the Duke Ellington and Jimmy Lunceford bands on occasion. He recorded with Mezz Mezzrow, Lil Armstrong, Henry "Red" Allen, and in the '40s, with Sidney Bechet.

Dill Jones, Piano
b. Newcastle Emlyn, Wales, England.
d. 1984
A Welsh jazz stride pianist.
Harry Mills, vocals
b. Bellefonte, PA, USA
d. June 28, 1982.
Member of famous Mills Bros. Vocal Group (some say b. Piqua, OH, USA)
Mills Brothers - Wikipedia

Al Morgan, Bass
b. New Orleans, LA, USA d. April 14, 1974, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Age: 65.
Played with the Jimmy Noone, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Fletcher Henderson, and Duke Ellington orchestras. He was also a member of 'The Jones & Collins Astoria Hot 8', and led his own group for awhile. Upon being accepted beyond the Pearly Gates, hardly a given considering their typical lifestyles, recently deceased bassists snoop around from cloud to cloud hoping to figure out where Al Morgan hangs out. He may have been the greatest bassist in music history, at least if such a judgment were to be based on how much enjoyment listeners get out of the performances he participated in. Morgan's basslines weave a web through the development of jazz, R&B, and rock & roll, beginning where all such things should -- in New Orleans. A bassist that has "the Al Morgan thing" together is a master at all three of those styles, so no wonder there are musical angels looking for lessons.

In New Orleans, the surname Morgan brings up one of many musical dynasties, not just the bottom-end expert who went on to play on records such as Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher." Brother Sam Morgan led his own bands and played trumpet. Isaiah Morgan was also a trumpeter and bandleader, while fourth brother Andrew Morgan was a clarinetist and saxophonist. Clarinet was Al Morgan's first instrument as well, but his taste quickly swooped down. He was interested in creating momentum in the foundations of an ensemble, yet prior to the Roaring Twenties nobody in jazz was even sure what type of instrument was required for that task. Morgan mastered all available options -- string bass, baritone sax, tuba. Indeed, he even played a bass instrument with only three strings that quickly became an obscurity behind the thump of the four-string model.

If all artists have their masterpieces, Morgan's were created upriver from New Orleans in a period when the string bass had become firmly established in its backbone role. His involvement in great sides by Calloway, Fats Waller, and later Louis Jordan firmly cement the bond between great times and great music. Blues fans will hear something special the bassist added to classic records by guitarist T-Bone Walker, and Morgan likewise sets a high standard for swinging walking bass on mind-boppling sessions involving tenor saxophone masters Chu Berry, Coleman Hawkins, and Don Byas. Bass historians trace these skills back to the New Orleans legend Simon Marrero, who gave Morgan lessons circa 1919. 

Isaiah Morgan's band provided early professional opportunities for the bassist before he slipped around the coast to Pensacola, establishing himself in Mack Thomas & the Pensacola Jazzers as well as in a combo with trumpeter and singer Lee Collins. By the mid-'20s, Morgan was back in New Orleans -- at least when he wasn't gigging up and down the Mississippi on a riverboat with the legendary Fate Marable band. Another of Morgan's bosses, Davey Jones, was still requiring him to double on tuba during this period. The St. Louis bassist Cecil Scott was Morgan's teacher in the Marable years, lasting up until the late '20s. Some rocking scholars thread a necklace from this St. Louis connection, the link running to Morgan's later role in Louis Jordan's band and the influence that music would in turn have on St. Louis homeboy Chuck Berry.

Recorded material finally becomes available regarding Morgan's activity thanks to "field trips" by musicologists or just plain talent scouts employed by the Victor, Columbia, Brunswick, and OKeh companies. The track strangely entitled "Damp Weather Test" features him with the Jones & Collins Astoria Hot Eight, a band from New Orleans, prior to Morgan's shift to New York City as a home base. This change coincided with a new decade as well, the '30s. Morgan jumped into the rhythm section of a group led by a reed player associated with early Duke Ellington ensembles, Otto Hardwick, at the hardly pedestrian Hot Feet Club. The bassist spent four years with Calloway beginning in 1932.

Morgan decided to leave Calloway during a California tour and subsequently had a solid association with the West Coast scene, including thick screen presence. His movie appearances include the "Drum Crazy" sequence in the turgid The Gene Krupa Story and a scene with Louis Armstrong in Going Places. Musically, his '40s output was strongly diverse. Morgan led his own band, held forth behind Fats Waller and in the Les Hite ensemble, joined an energetic small group led by drummer Zutty Singleton, and helped put across new, somewhat zany R&B stylings with Jordan. The next pages of Morgan's biography must include references to the pianist, singer, and bandleader Sabby Lewis. Their Boston-based association lasted more than a decade, with the bassist grabbing other work on Lewis' off-nights.

In early 1957 Morgan moved to California for good. There were further screen appearances such as King Creole, while the bassist continued developing the repertoire of singing pianists such as Nellie Lutcher. In the '60s Morgan was considered part of the furnishings at the Tudor Inn in Norwalk, regularly working by the side of pianist Buddy Banks. While the size of Morgan's discography is enough to devastate most competition, the bassist should still not be confused with Alun Morgan, a prolific writer of jazz liner notes, or a pianist and singer named Al Morgan whose recordings have been reissued by the Jasmine label.

~Biography by Eugene Chadbourne
Al Morgan - Bass idol

Lyle "Spud" Murphy
Trumpet/Alto sax/composer/Arranger
b. Salt Lake City, UT, USA
d. Aug. 5, 2005, Los Angeles (Hollywood), CA, USA.
(2 weeks before his 97th birthday - Complications from surgery).
Spud Murphy had a long career in music, being important to jazz in two very different periods. He studied clarinet and trumpet (the latter with Red Nichols' father). He played with Jimmy Joy (1927-28), Ross Gorman and in 1928 recorded on oboe with Slim Lamar in 1928. Always more important as a composer-arranger than as an instrumentalist, Murphy contributed arrangements during the 1930-34 period to the bands of Austin Wylie, Jan Garber, Mal Hallett andJoe Haymes among others.
He was a major staff arranger for Benny Goodman during 1935-37 and also wrote charts for the Casa Loma Orchestra. Murphy led his own big band during the 1937-40 period, recording 14 selections for Decca and Bluebird in 1938-39. Spud Murphy settled in Los Angeles in the 1940's, wrote for the studios and developed an influential 12-tone system. Although primarily involved with classical music and movie work from the mid-1940's on, Murphy did record two adventurous jazz sets (for GNP/Crescendo in 1955-57 and Gone With The Woodwinds for Contemporary in 1955) that displayed his 12-tone ideas with top West Coast jazz musicians.
~Scott Yanow
Spud Murphy - Wikipedia

James George "Jimmy" Rowles, vocal/piano
b. Spokane, WA, USA
d. May 28, 1996
Played with Billie Holiday.
Long known for his expertise in coming up with the perfect chord for the perfect situation, the subtle Jimmy Rowles was in demand for decades as an accompanist while being underrated as a soloist. After playing in local groups in Seattle, Rowles moved to Los Angeles in 1940 and worked with Slim Gaillard, Lester Young, Benny Goodman, and Woody Herman.
After serving in the military, he returned to Herman (in time to play with the first Herd), recorded with Benny Goodman, and also had stints with Les Brown and Tommy Dorsey. Working as a studio musician, Rowles appeared in a countless number of settings in the 1950s and '60s, but was best known for his playing behind Billie Holiday and Peggy Lee. In 1973, he moved to New York where he recorded more extensively in jazz situations (including duets with Stan Getz), but after touring with Ella Fitzgerald during 1981-1983 he returned to California. His song "The Peacocks" became a standard, and Rowles recorded for many labels throughout his career including with his daughter, flügelhornist Stacy Rowles.
- Scott Yanow
Herman Stein, composer
b. Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Herman Stein (August 19, 1915March 15, 2007) was an American composer who wrote music for many of the 1950s science-fiction and horror filmsfrom Universal Studios. Herman Stein was one of the architects of the sound of 1950s science-fiction movies. Stein retired in the 1970s and died of congestive heart failure in his home in Los Angeles at the age of 91.
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Yip Yip Yaphank, Sgt. Irving Berlin's musical about army life in World War I opened at the Century Theatre in New York City. Two of the great hit songs from that play were "Mandy", and "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning."

The Dick Jurgens Orchestra recorded
"Day Dreams Come True at Night"
(Okeh) with vocalist Eddy Howard.
It became Jurgens' theme song.

Willie Love, piano
died in Jackson, MS, USA.
Age: 46.

"Blind" Willie Mctell, guitar
died in Milledgeville, GA, USA.
Age: 56.
Norman Brown, guitar
died in Hollywood, CA, USA.
Age: 55.
Member: 'Mills Bros' vocal group.

Fred Grant, guitar
died in St. Louis, MO. USA.
Played with the 'Silvercloud Blues Band'.

Fats Waller and his Rhythm - 1938. Left to right: Slick Jones, Herman Autrey, Fats Waller, Cedric Wallace, Albert Casey, Eugene Sedric.
Cedric Wallace, bass
died in NY, USA.
Age: 76
Played with Fats Waller

"Curly" Ray Cline of the
"Lonesome Pine Fiddlers"

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Original Dixieland Jass Band


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra The Japanese Sandman - (acoustical)

Clara Smith Deep Blue Sea Blues


Bessie Smith and her Band - I Ain't Got Nobody

Original Indiana Five Pretty Puppy

Eddie Peabody
  • Cecilia


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - Just a Memory


Red Mckenzie and his Mound City Blue Blowers


Louis Armstrong and his Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra

Ethel Waters - You're Lucky To Me


Rosa Henderson - Can't Be Bothered With No Sheik


Tom Gerun and his Orchestra
  • Sweethearts Forever
  • Three's A Crowd


~Words by Henry Creamer
~Music by Jimmy Johnson (1926)

I'm so blue
I don't know what to do.
All day through I'm pining just for you
I did wrong when I let you go away.
For now I grieve about you night and day.
I'm unhappy and dissatisfied,
But I'd be happy if I had you by my side...
If I could be with you I'd love you strong,
If I could be with you I'd love you long,
I want you to know I wouldn't go,
Until I told you, honey, why I love you so
If I could be with you one hour tonight,
If I was free to do the things i might,
I'm telling you true,
I'd be anything but blue,
If I could be with you.
All dressed up but still nowhere to go,
How I wish that I could see a show
Here I wait with no one to call me dear,
The one I love is many miles from here.
Central, give me "one-two-three-four-j"
Oh, won't you listen, little sweetie, while I say:
If I could be with you I'd love you strong,
If I could be with you I'd love you long,
I want you to know I wouldn't go,
Until I told you, honey, why I love you so
If I could be with you one hour tonight,
If I was free to do the things I might,
I'm telling you true,
I'd be anything but blue,
If I could be with you
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