Tuesday

AUGUST 31ST





BIRTHDAYS


1904
May Alix, Vocals 
b. Chicago, IL, USA.
(Sang with Louis Armstrong Orch.)
The use of pseudonyms was widespread on blues recordings and has caused much confusion among just about everyone associated with the genre, from fans wondering who it is they are actually listening to to record companies wondering who it was that actually cashed the royalty checks.
The case of May Alix (sometimes known as Mae Alix) seems unique, standing out from the messy trail of surreptitious recordings because while there really was a May Alix, the famous jazz and blues singer Alberta Hunter made use of the name May Alix as well to get around exclusive recording contracts. This was done with the real Alix's permission, and wondering about how such a request might be worded is fun: "May I be May?" The two singers were friends, and Hunter has indicated that she had a second motivation for using the name besides the one already mentioned, being of the opinion that the little trick would actually bring her singing buddy May Alix further career exposure. The real May Alix hailed from Chicago, where she began working in clubs as vocalist with the Jimmie Noone band when she was still a teenager.
From there she gigged with Carroll Dickerson and as a duo with Ollie Powers at the inviting sounding Dreamland Cabaret. At this point she was basically a cabaret or vaudeville singer who was really not that familiar with jazz singing. In the mid '20s she became part of a famous recording session with the Louis Armstrong Hot Five, resulting in Satchmo's first chart hit with a vocal, an appetizing duo with Alix entitled "Big Butter and Egg Man". It was a wonderful example of Armstrong's genius, making use of a non-jazz singer to create a kind of early novelty record and including a magnificent trumpet solo that critic, composer and teacher Gunther Schuller compared to Mozart. The success of the Armstrong collaboration led to similar recording ventures with bandleader Jimmie Noone. A certain amount of fame resulted on the jazz scene, yet this singer really considered her strength to be the cabaret style and focused on this for the balance of her career.
Jazz critics seemed to have agreed, often describing her fame in jazz circles as "undeserved." Following a tour of Europe, Alix joined Connie's Inn Revue at the Harlem Opera House in the early '30s, but then returned to her hometown to sing at venues such as the Panama Club and the It Club. Bouncing back to New York the subsequent decade, she had her last extended engagement at the Mimo Club before problems with her health forced her to give up singing. She was often billed as "The Queen of the Splits", a name that could have originated with the moves she made onstage, a skill at getting out of clubs quickly when the show was over, or maybe because she was "splitting" the use of her name with Hunter.
~ Eugene Chadbourne


1886
George L. Cobb C&W songwriter
George Linus Cobb (August 31, 1886December 25, 1942) was a prolific composer best known for ragtime, including both instrumental compositions and ragtime songs, although he did produce other works including marches and waltzes. Jack Yellen was a frequent lyricist for the songs.
Entering Syracuse University in 1905, his first composition were published shortly after. His most famous work is The Russian Rag.
As well as composing, Cobb had a column in The Tuneful Yankee magazine, launched in 1917 and which changed its name to Melody in 1918.
The Rags of George L. Cobb by Ted Tjaden
George Linus Cobb by Bill Edwards
1907
"Dirty Red" (né: Nelson Wilborn), piano
b. Sumner, MS, USA. Born Nelson Wilborn, 31 August 1907, Sumner, Mississippi, USA.
Red Nelson was a Chicago-based vocalist, and possibly a guitarist, but not a pianist, despite frequent reports to that effect. He was given interesting and varied accompanists during his recording career, which began in 1935, and was a fine singer with a telling falsetto, although he often held himself emotionally in check, possibly to accommodate the 30s fashion for the laconic. His 1935/6 Decca recordings with Cripple Clarence Lofton, though less considered, are outstanding, with "Crying Mother Blues" an unquestionable masterpiece, while his 1947 titles for Aladdin, with James Clark on piano, are almost as good. Last seen working with Muddy Waters in the 60s, Nelson was an amiable alcoholic with a penchant for double entendres, as might be inferred from the ebullient "Dirty Mother Fuyer", which he recorded in 1947 under the pseudonym "Dirty Red".
Red Nelson | Biography | AllMusic





1903
Arthur Godfrey
Ukulele/and -he called it- singing

d. March 16, 1983. né:Arthur Morton Godfrey.
(At least he played the Ukulele fairly well, and even gave Ukulele lessons on his TV Show.)


1913
George Hoven
Piano-Accordion/composer
b. Marcus Hook, PA, USA, d. June 18, 1974, Chester, PA, USA. (In a fire at his home.) George is best remembered today as the composer of "It's No Sin", (Lyric George R. Shull), which was number 1 on the top charts for many weeks during 1951. It was recorded by The Four Aces vocal group, by the Eddy Howard band, and by most all popular singers of the day.

1918
Alan Jay Lerner, lyricist

d. June 14,1986.
Part of the Lerner and Loewe team.
Lerner began his career writing radio scripts. He collaborated with composer Frederick Loewe, whom he met in 1942, on Broadway musical hits such as Brigadoon (1947), Paint Your Wagon (1951), My Fair Lady (1956; won a Tony), and Camelot (1960). Lerner also worked with the Gershwins (An American in Paris, 1951), Burton Lane (On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, 1965), and Andre Previn (Coco, 1969). Lerner and Loewe received the prestigious Kennedy Center Award in 1985.
1907
Dan Pickett, guitar
b. Pike City, AL, USA.
Pickett was a singer and guitarist, whose August 1949 recordings prompted years of speculation. Many noted his stylistic links with the blues of the east coast, and it was through company files that critics discovered his real name.
Pickett's repertoire was derived almost exclusively from 30s recordings, and his virtuosity went into the delivery, rather than the composition, of his songs, which sound as if they could have been recorded a decade or so earlier. However, the transformations to which he subjected many songs are the work of a true original. His guitar playing, influenced by Tampa Red, is complex but effortlessly fluent, and perfectly integrated with his intense but extrovert singing, which is often remarkable for the number of words crammed into a single line. 
~James Founty
Dan Pickett : OLDIES.com



1900
Todd Rhodes
Piano/Arranger
b. Hopkinsville, KY, USA. d. 1965 
~From Wikipedia
Todd Rhodes (31 August 1900–June 1965) was a talented pianist and arranger and was an important early influence in jazz and later on in R&B. He was born in 1900 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
In the early 1920s he played with Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller, Rex Stuart, Doc Cheatham, and Don Redman in McKinney's Cotton Pickers, a jazz group. Rhodes lived and played in Detroit in the 1930s. In the late forties he started his own group, Todd Rhodes and His Toddlers, and started doing more R&B arrangements.
Todd Rhodes - Wikipedia

1907
Edgar Melvin Sampson
multi-instr/arranger/composer/leader
b. New York, NY, USA
d Jan. 16, 1973, Englewood, NJ, USA.
"Stompin' At The Savoy" and much more.
Other than two titles in 1939 that were features for the Three Swingsters, arranger Edgar Sampson (who composed such swing-era hits as "Don't Be That Way," "Blue Lou," "Lullaby in Rhythm," "If Dreams Come True," and "Stompin' at the Savoy") only led one recording session in his entire career and was completely unknown to the general public. This budget LP from the later period of MCA's Jazz Heritage series (which has versions of the five aforementioned songs) only contains ten of the 12 selections from Sampson's lone date (a total of just 30 minutes of music). Edgar Sampson leads a big band that features concise solos from trumpeters Charlie Shavers and Jimmy Nottingham, trombonists Tyree Glenn and Lou McGarity, and tenor saxophonist Boomie Richman. Even in its inexcusably truncated state, this swing-oriented LP is worth searching for.
~ Scott Yanow



1886
L. Wolfe Gilbert. Lyricist
b. Odessa, Russia. d. July 13, 1970, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
H Louis Wolfe Gilbert (August 31, 1886–July 12, 1970) was a Russian-born American songwriter.
Born in Odessa, Russia, he moved to the United States as a young man and eventually established himself as one of the leading songwriters on Tin Pan Alley. Gilbert began his career touring with John L. Sullivan and singing in a quartet at small Coney Island cafe called "College Inn", where he was discovered by English producer Albert Decourville. Decourville brought him to London as part of The Ragtime Octet. Gilbert's first songwriting success came in 1912 when F. A. Mills Music Publishers published his song Waiting For the Robert E. Lee (melody by composer Lewis F. Muir).

Whispering Jack Smith singing L. Wolfe Gilbert's "Ramona".
Gilbert moved to Hollywood in 1915, and began writing for film, television, and radio (including the Eddie Cantor show). Gilbert wrote the theme lyrics for the popular children's Television Western Hopalong Cassidy, which first aired in 1949 on NBC. He was an innovator in his field, having been one of the first songwriters to begin publishing and promoting a catalog of his own works. He served as the director of ASCAP from 1941 to 1944, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. Louis Wolfe Gilbert died in Los Angeles, California on July 12, 1970. His original gravesite was at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City (Mausoleum, Court of Sages, Crypt 223) but he was later reinterred at Forest Lawn Cemetery (Cathedral City) near Palm Springs, California. 
Partial Song Catalog: * 1912 Waiting For The Robert E. Lee (m. Lewis F. Muir) * 1912 Hitchy-Koo (m. Lewis F. Muir & Maurice Abrahams r. Collins & Harlan) * 1912 Ragging The Baby To Sleep (m. Lewis F. Muir) * 1912 Take Me To That Swanee Shore (m. Lewis F. Muir) * 1914 By Heck (m. S. R. Henry) * 1914 She's Dancing Her Heart Away (m. Kerry Mills) * 1915 My Sweet Adair (m. Anatole Friedland) * 1916 My Hawaiian Sunrise (m. Carey Morgan r. Henry Burr & Albert C. Campbell) * 1917 Are You From Heaven? (m. Anatole Friedland) * 1917 Lily Of The Valley (m. Anatole Friedland) * 1921 Down Yonder * 1924 O, Katharina (m. Richard Fall) * 1925 Don't Wake Me Up, Let Me Dream (m. Mabel Wayne) * 1925 I Miss My Swiss (m. Abel Baer) * 1926 Hello, Aloha, How Are You? (m. Abel Baer) * 1928 Are You Thinking Of Me Tonight? (m. Harry Akst & Benny Davis r. Al Bowlly with John Abriani's Six) * 1928 Ramona (m. Mabel Wayne r. Whispering Jack Smith and Gene Austin) * 1931 in music "Marta" (m. Moises Simons) r. (Arthur Tracy, The Street Singer).



Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:




1947.
Son "Brownsville" Bonds, guitar
died in Dyersburg, TN, USA.
Age: 38.
An associate of Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon, Bonds played very much in the same rural Brownsville style that the Estes-Nixon team popularized in the '20s and '30s. Curiously, either Estes or Nixon (but never both of them together) played on all of Bonds's recordings. The music to one of Bonds's songs, "Back and Side Blues" (1934), became a standard blues melody when John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson from nearby Jackson, TN, used it in his classic "Good Morning, (Little) School Girl" (1937). According to Nixon, Bonds was shot to death, while sitting on his front porch, by a nearsighted neighbor who mistook him for another man.
~ Jim O'Neal



1976.
Buell Kazee age 76, singer/banjoist, died.
1984.
Maurice Hulbert
died in Memphis, TN, USA.
Age: 88.
"Mr. Beale Street".


1993.
Al Trace bandleader died, Age: 93.

2002.
Lionel Hampton
died in New York City.
Age: 94.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:



1916





















Marion Harris




1921



All Star Trio and their Orchestra - I Ain't Nobody's Darling (Introducing, "Bring Back My Bonnie To Me / O Dem Golden Slippers / The Quilting Party)
  • Rosy Cheeks

1922



Roy Bargy - K'nice and K'nifty


The Virginians
1923


Clara Smith - Irrestible Blues - Fletcher Henderson At The Piano 

1926


Mamie Smith

1927




University Six Oh Doris, Where Do You Live? 

1928


Annette Hanshaw
Annette Hanshaw - Chiquita
Annette Hanshaw - Maui Girl



1929



Tom Gerun and his Orchestra

    1934


    Isham Jones and his Orchestra
    • Four Or Five Times
    • Black Magic

LYRICS:

Ramona

I wander out yonder o'er the hills

Where the mountains high, seem to kiss the sky

Someone's up yonder o'er the hills
Waiting patiently, waiting just for me
Ramona, I hear those mission bells above
Ramona , they're ringing out our song of love
I press you, caress you
And bless the day you taught me to care
To always remember

The rambling rose you wore in your hair
Ramona, when the day is done you'll hear my call
Ramona, we'll meet beside the waterfall

I dread the dawn
When I awake to find you gone
Ramona, I need you, my own
Ramona, when the day is done you'll hear my call
Ramona, we'll meet beside the waterfall
I dread the dawn
When I awake to find you gone
Ramona, I need you, my own

TubaGirlFin
~confetta
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