Monday

AUGUST 23RD

REST IN PEACE RUDOLPH VALENTINO!



BIRTHDAYS




1918
Kjeld Bonfils, Piano/Vibes
b. Copenhagen, Denmark d. 1984
Kjeld Bonfils (b. Copenhagen, August 23, 1918-1984) was a Danish jazz pianist and vibraphone player.
Bonfils was one of the figures involved in the "Golden Age" of Danish jazz in the 1930s. During the Nazi occupation of Denmarkfrom 1940-45, jazz was discouraged by the regime, but Bonfils played with Svend Asmussen in Valdemar Eiberg's band, as well as elsewhere, and jazz became a symbol of the underground and political protest. Bonfils was hailed as one of the best soloists of his day.
Kjeld Bonfils - Wikipedia



1913
Bob Crosby
George Robert "Bob" Crosby (August 23, 1913 – March 9, 1993) was an American swing music singer and Dixieland bandleader and vocalist best known for his group the Bob-Cats.

The seven Crosby children were brothers Larry (1895–1975), Everett (1896–1966), Ted (1900–1973), and Harry (1903–1977, popularly known as Bing Crosby), sisters Catherine (1905–1988) and Mary Rose (1907–1990), and Bob. His parents were English-American bookkeeper Harry Lowe Crosby (1871–1950) and Irish-American Catherine Harrigan (1873–1964, affectionately known as Kate), the daughter of a builder from County Mayo in Ireland.


Bob Crosby began singing in the early 1930s with the Rhythm Boys, which included vocalist Ray Hendricks and guitarist Bill Pollard, and with Anson Weeks (1931–34) and the Dorsey Brothers (1934–35). He led his first band in 1935 when the former members of Ben Pollack's band elected him their titular leader. In 1935 he recorded with the Clark Randall Orchestra led by Gil Rodin and featuring singer Frank Tennille, whose pseudonym was Clark Randall. Glenn Miller was a member of that orchestra, which recorded the Glenn Miller novelty composition "When Icky Morgan Plays the Organ" in 1935.

Crosby's "band-within-the-band," the Bob-Cats, was an authentic New Orleans Dixieland-style jazz octet featuring soloists drawn from the larger orchestra, many of whom were from New Orleans or were heavily influenced by the music of the Crescent City. In the mid 1930s, with the rise of "swing" music and the popularity of the swing bands ever increasing, the Crosby band managed to authentically combine the fundamental elements of the older jazz style with the then-rising-in-popularity swing style; the resulting music they produced as a big band had a sound and style that few if any other big bands even attempted to emulate.


By unapologetically ignoring most of the pop tunes that were the de facto repertoire of most of the swing bands of the mid-to-late 1930s and stubbornly sticking to playing many older jazz standards with zeal and in the spirit of their tradition—all brilliantly translated into a big-band context—the band, and especially the Bob-Cats, presaged the traditional jazz revival of the 1940s. Most of the band's arrangements were written by bassist Bob Haggart and clarinetist/saxophonist Matty Matlock; other original material primarily came from band members Joe Sullivan, Bob Zurke, and Eddie Miller. Crosby's singing voice was remarkably similar to that of his brother Bing, but without its range.


In addition to the abovementioned band members, the Bob Crosby Orchestra and the Bob-Cats also included (at various times) Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield, Charlie Spivak, Muggsy Spanier, Irving Fazola, Nappy Lamare, Ward Silloway, Warren Smith, Joe Sullivan, Bob Zurke, Jess Stacy, Bob Haggart, Walt Yoder, Jack Sperling, Ray Bauduc, and many others who came and went. A much later press account from 1943 mentions a young trumpeter by the name of Gilbert Portmore who occasionally played with the band.


The orchestra was one of the few bands of its time established as a cooperative corporation of its members, and it was managed/presided over by saxophonist Gil Rodin. The band was initially formed out of the ruins of the Ben Pollack Orchestra, whose members quit en masse. Needing a vocalist, they chose Crosby simply for his personality, looks, and famous surname. He was made the front man of the band, and his name became the band's public identity. In the spring of 1940, during a performance in Chicago, teenager Doris Day was hired as the band's female vocalist.


For its theme song the band chose George Gershwin's song "Summertime," and in addition to their theme the band's hit records included "South Rampart Street Parade" (its biggest hit), "March of the Bob Cats," "In a Little Gypsy Tea Room," "Whispers in The Dark," "Day In, Day Out," "Down Argentine Way," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "Dolores," and "New San Antonio Rose" (last three with Bing Crosby). A novelty bass-and-drums duet between Haggart and Bauduc, "Big Noise from Winnetka," became a hit in 1938-39.


The enduring popularity of the Bob-Cats led by Bob Crosby, whose biography was written by British jazz historian John Chilton, was evident during the frequent reunions in the 1950s and 1960s. Bob Haggart and Yank Lawson organized a band that kept the spirit alive, combining Dixieland and swing with a roster of top soloists. From the late 1960s until the mid 1970s, the group was known as the World's Greatest Jazzband. Since neither leader was happy with that name, they eventually reverted to the Lawson-Haggart Jazzband. The Lawson-Haggart group was consistent in keeping the Bob Crosby tradition alive.


Three of his songs ("Way Back Home" (1949), "Happy Times" and "Dear Hearts and Gentle People") were featured in two hit video games, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, published by Bethesda Softworks. Most of the popularity of all of these songs was achieved by the use of them in the game trailers, in which they used his lighthearted music to contrast with the combat taking place in the video.



Bob Crosby has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for television and recording.
Bob Crosby




1896
Wendell Hall, C&W vocals/guitar
b. St. George, KS, USA.
A well known 1920's Country recording artist. MP3 Bio:
Despite having sold more than two million copies of one of his records and having written several totally evergreen standards, it seems the most enduring historical legacy of this artist is a series of instruments named after him. In this sense, Wendell Hall is the Les Paul of ukuleles and the slightly louder ukulele banjo, because just as the guitar maestro who designed a popular electric guitar as his namesake, Hall was the designer of a series of sought-after, collector's item ukes and banjo ukes, the subject of brisk commerce on the internet decades after his death. And just as many guitarists strumming their Les Paul guitars don't fret about who Les Paul is, there are surely many crooners strumming prestige Wendell Hall ukuleles who are unaware of who the Hall is.
The singer and strummer was known as both "the red-haired music maker" and the slightly more pungent "pineapple picador." He had several decades of recording success in the '20s and '30s, performing a variety of pop and blues numbers while attracting attention with noveltly songs. He also had a shoe, or perhaps we should say a barefoot, in the hillbilly patch and in terms of national hit records is reported to be the first "official" hillbilly, if there can be such a thing. His song "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More" was considered a hillbilly release when it first was pressed in 1923, a distinction that has long since faded while the song itself has remained a classic standard. This was the release that sold two million for Hall, but it was not his only successful recording by any means. He played the other side of the rain cloud with a release of "It Looks Like Rain," although public response indicated a preference for dryer climates.
He recorded a cover version of "Big Rock Candy Mountain," and an "answer" song to Harry McClintock's "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" entitled "Who Said I Was a Bum?" He provided lyrical fodder for many a serviceman with "Show Me the Way to Go Home," and also drew attention collaborating with fellow official hillbilly Carson Robinson in a series of Stephan Foster platters, such as "Camptown Races" and "Oh Susanna." Hall also became involved in publishing instruction manuals and songs for ukulele early on in the game. His Ukulele Methods, published by Forster Music in 1925, was one of the first such manuals for the instrument to be commercially available. It came hot on the heels of Uke Songs published the year before by Jack Mills. Hall also recorded and performed on several other small stringed instruments, the mildly obscure tipple and the truly rare taropatch. He was featured on radio broadcasts over the NBC WHZ network in the '30s. ~ Eugene Chadbourne




1912
Gene Kelly, dancer/vocals/actor
b. Pittsburgh, PA, USA
d. Feb. 2, 1996, Los Angeles (Beverly Hills), CA, USA.
(complications from two strokes).
né: Eugene Curran Kelly.
Showing an early aptitude in both gymnastics and dance, Eugene Curran Kelly had devoured, by his early teens, everything he could about dance in general and ballet in particular. He was already a successful dance teacher in his hometown when he began his ascent in the original Broadway production of Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey. This led to a film contract with David O. Selznick, which was sold to MGM before Kelly even reported to Hollywood. 


The allegiance with MGM proved a godsend for both the studio and Kelly, who (with the help of producer Arthur Freed) came to energize the film company's musical output for the next 15 years. Kelly quickly revealed himself to be a quintuple threat: dancer, actor, singer, choreographer, and director. Beginning with his first film, For Me and My Gal, he showed an engaging personality on screen, and his voice, while never strong, was equally pleasing. As his influence at the studio grew, Kelly began proposing more ambitious projects as a director as well as a choreographer and performer. Kelly was never a popular singer, despite the fact that he acquitted himself onscreen alongside even the likes of Frank Sinatra in several films, but his on-screen geniality and overall popularity -- as a younger, more masculine, and more conventionally handsome rival to Fred Astaire (who was at MGM at exactly the same time) -- allowed him to effectively repopularize many songs by George Gershwin, Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb Brown, and others through his performances of them in films such as An American in Paris and Singin' in the Rain. His most popular and influential work as a singer can be found on the soundtracks for those films, plus Brigadoon, It's Always Fair Weather, Summer Stock, and the compilation soundtrack That's Entertainment Part 2.
As the '50s wore on and the public's taste for musicals waned, Kelly turned increasingly toward directing (Gigot, Hello Dolly!) and producing, allowing his acting -- which he had never entirely forsaken but had never built into great prominence before the public either -- to become the focus of his film work in movies such as Marjorie Morningstar and Inherit the Wind. He proved to be as adept at drama as he had been at dance; and in the '70s, spurred on by the growing interest in America's cinematic past that coalesced around MGM's compilation feature That's Entertainment, Kelly directed the equally fine followup, That's Entertainment Part 2. ~ Bruce Eder
Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers - 1926
Left to Right: - Omer Simeon, Andrew Hlaire, John Lindsay, Johnny St. Cyr, Kid Ory, George Mitchell, seated - Jelly Roll Morton.
1894
John Lindsay, Bass
b. Algiers (near New Orleans), LA, USA.
d. 1950, Chicago, IL, USA.
Worked with "Harlem Hamfats'
The Harlem Hamfats were a crack studio band formed in 1936 by black talent scout Mayo "Ink" Williams. Its main function was backing jazz and blues singers such as Johnny Temple, Rosetta Howard, and Frankie "Half Pint" Jackson for Decca Records; The Hamfats' side career began when its first record "Oh Red" became a hit. Despite its name, none of the band's members came from Harlem, and none were hamfats, a disparaging term referring to indifferent musicians. Brothers Joe (g, v) and Charlie McCoy (g, m) were blues players from Mississippi; leader Herb Morand (tpt, v), Odell Rand (cl), and John Lindsay (b) were from New Orleans; Horace Malcolm (p) and drummers Pearlis Williams and Freddie Flynn were from Chicago.
This territorial disparity created a sound which blended various blues styles with New Orleans, Dixieland, and swing jazz. The band's high-spirited playing and excellent musicianship compensated for what some critics have called lack of improvisational skill. The Hamfats' music has been somewhat neglected over the years. The vocalists tended to be derivative of other popular singers of the day such as Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, and various blues singers. The lyrical content of their songs often revolved around subjects like drinking and sex, leading some to dismiss them as a lightweight novelty act. Although it is not seen as an innovative group, The Harlem Hamfats' riff-based style was influential to Louis Jordan, early Muddy Waters, and what would eventually become rhythm and blues and rock & roll. ~ Jim Powers
Bass Players, John Lindsay



1917
"Tex" Williams, C&W vocals/guitar
b. Ramsey, IL, USA. d. Oct. 11, 1985. né: Sollie Paul Williams.
Sollie Paul Williams (August 23, 1917 – October 11, 1985), known professionally as Tex Williams, was an American Western swing musician from Ramsey, Illinois.
He is best known for his talking blues style; his biggest hit was thenovelty song, "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)," which held the number one position on the Billboard charts for six weeks in 1947. "Smoke" was the number five song on Billboard's Top 100 list for 1947, and was number one on the country chart that year. It can be heard during the opening scenes of the 2006 movie, Thank You for Smoking.
Williams' backing band, the Western Caravan, numbered about a dozen members. They attained an enviable level of fluid interplay between electric and steel guitars, fiddles, bass, accordion, trumpet, and other instruments (even an occasional harp). At first they recorded polkas for Capitol Records with limited success. That was changed by the success of "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke" written in large part by Merle Travis.
Williams died of pancreatic cancer on October 11, 1985.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:


1923.
'The Happiness Boys', Billy Jones and Ernie Hare, were heard on radio for the first time. Billed as radio's first comedians, the team were also credited with creating and performing radio's first singing commercial.


1926.
Rudolph Valentino, vocals/actor
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 32.
Rudolph Valentino (May 6, 1895 – August 23, 1926) was an Italian actor, sex symbol, and early pop icon. Known as the "Latin Lover", he was one of the most popular stars of the 1920s, and one of the most recognized stars from the silent film era. He is best known for his work in The Sheik and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. His untimely death at age 31 caused mass hysteria among his female fans, propelling him into icon status.

1943.
LIFE magazine spotlighted the "Lindy Hop", a dance craze then sweeping the U.S.A. The "Lindy Hop" is a dance, named after American aviation hero Charles A. Lindbergh. In 1927, "Shorty" George Snowden was dancing in a marathon and doing twists, turns, jumps and twirls. When a reporter asked what kind of dance he was doing, Snowden replied "The Lindy Hop... We're flyin' just like Lindy did!" The name stuck!
In 1935, a young dancer named Frankie "Musclehead" Manning created some of the first airsteps during exhibitions at The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York, and the 'Lindy Hop' soared. Later on, White dancers would variously call the dance by such names as The jitterbug, Swing, or simply the Lindy. But it was in 1943, during WWII, that the dance was picked up by the youth of America, and the craze really swept the whole World.




1960.
Oscar Hammerstein II
died in Doylestown, PA, USA.
Oscar Hammerstein II - Wikipedia


1962.
"Hoot" Gibson, guitar/actor
died in Woodland Hills, CA, USA.

1983.
Willie Guy Rainey, guitar
died in College Park, GA, USA.
Age: 82.



1990.
David Rose, conductor/composer
died in Burbank, CA, USA.
Age: 80.
Curiously, he is best recalled as composer of "The Stripper"


Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


1920



Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - Whispering


1923



Bailey's Lucky Seven
  • Oh! Min
  • That Big Blond Mama
  • Home

1926




Savoy Bearcats - Bearcat Stomp









Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders

Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra

1934




Dorsey Brothers Orchestra - Honeysuckle Rose Part 1

1938













Ted Weems and his Orchestra
  • The Cute Little Hat-Check Girl - Whistling by Elmo Tanner
  • Heartaches - Whistling by Elmo Tanner
  • Simple And Sweet

LYRICS:



Every honey bee fills with jealousy
When they see you out with me
I don't blame them
Goodness knows
Honeysuckle rose

When you're passin' by,
Flowers droop and sigh
I know the reason why
You're much sweeter
Goodness knows
Honeysuckle rose

Well, don't buy sugar
You just have to touch my cup
You're my sugar
And it's oh so sweet when you stir it up

When I'm takin' sips
From your tasty lips
Seems the honey fairly drips
You're confection
Goodness knows
Honeysuckle rose

Well, don't buy sugar
You just have to touch my cup
You're my sugar
And it's oh so sweet when you stir it up

When I'm takin' sips
From your tasty lips
Seems the honey fairly drips
You're confection
Goodness knows
Honeysuckle rose
TubaGirlFin
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