Edith Wilson, vocals 
d. March 30, 1981.
Edith Wilson belongs to that first group of African-American women referred to as vaudeville or cabaret blues singers that in the early '20s followed Mamie Smith into the recording studios. Wilson's recording career started with Columbia in 1921 with accompaniments provided by trumpeter Johnny Dunn's Jazz Hounds.

Born Edith Goodall, she came from a middle-class black family in Louisville, KY. After deciding on a career in show business and marrying pianist Danny Wilson, she performed in Chicago, Washington, D. C., and New York before accepting a recording contract from Columbia Records in 1921. Backed by Johnny Dunn and the Original Jazz Hounds, Wilson cut "Nervous Blues," "Vampin' Liza Jane," and other songs, most of which were composed or arranged by Perry Bradford.
Johnny Dunn and the Original Jazz Hounds, Wilson cut "Nervous Blues," "Vampin' Liza Jane," and other songs, most of which were composed or arranged by Perry Bradford.
Wilson shifted her attention to performing rather than recording, as comedy and histrionics increasingly became an integral part of her routine. By starring in such shows as "The Plantation Revue," "Creole Follies," and "Hot Chocolates," Wilson cultivated a large following with white and upscale black audiences. Although her relationship with Columbia Records ended in the mid-1920s, Wilson did cut a few more songs with different labels before effectively concluding her recording career in 1930. Like many other female singers in the 1920s, Edith Wilson incorporated blues songs into a repertoire that was built mainly from cabaret and show tunes.
Though she lacked the emotional depth that artists such as Bessie Smith and Ida Cox brought to the classic blues form, Wilson helped introduce the blues to white audiences, both in the U.S. and in Europe. The exposure she and other blues-flavored cabaret performers gave the music in non-black markets enabled the genre to assume a stronger posture in pre-World War II pop music.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, she continued to perform in theaters and cabarets with big bands and revues and even appeared in a few films. Her most noted performing roles were on radio; Wilson played the part of Kingfish's mother-in-law on the "Amos and Andy" show, and shortly thereafter became the voice of Aunt Jemima for the Quaker Oats Company.
Wilson performed up until 1963 when she retired from the stage. However, a 1972 recording with Eubie Blake sparked a comeback that led to frequent folk and blues festival dates and an album for the Delmark label in 1976. One of her last noted performances was at the 1980 Newport Jazz Festival. She died a year later on March 30, 1981.
Reference: Nothing But the Blues The Music and the Musicians, Edited by Lawrence Cohn
Copyright 1993 Abbeville Publishing Group, New York
ISBN 1-55859-271-7

Doc Cooke
b. Louisville, KY, USA
 d. Dec. 25, 1958
Unlike most early Jazz musicians who called themselves Doc or Professor, Charles L. Cooke really had a doctorate degree in music from the Chicago College of Music. Cooke is remembered today for his stint as a conductor and musical director of the Orchestra at Paddy Harmon's Dreamland Ballroom from 1922 to 1927 in Chicago.
His Dreamland Orchestra employed many of Chicago's top musicians, including Freddie Keppard, Jimmie Noone, Johnny St. Cyr and Luis Russell. In 1927 his engagement at the Dreamland ended and he took his orchestra to Chicago's Municipal Pier and then to the White City Ballroom.

In 1930 he moved to New York and was staff arranger at R.K.O. and Radio City Music Hall. He remained there until the early 1940s and then retired. Charles Cooke was usually billed under the name of Doc Cook.

Phil Napoleon, trumpet/leader b. Boston, MA, USA. 
d. Oct. 1, 1990, Boston, MA, USA. 
né: Filippo Napoli
Phil Napoleon (born Filippo Napoli; 2 September 1901 - 13 September 1990) was an early jazz trumpeter and bandleader born in Boston, Massachusetts.
Jackie Gleason and Phil Napoleon on stage
Napoleon began with classical training, and was performing publicly by age 5. In the 1910s, he was one of the first musicians in the U.S. north east to embrace the new "jass" style brought to that part of the country by musicians from New Orleans, Louisiana. With pianist Frank Signorelli he formed the group "The Original Memphis Five". It was one of the busiest bands in New York City in the 1920s, recording for most record labels, often under a variety of pseudonyms.

After some time leading his own band and doing regular studio work for NBC radio, he worked with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra for a time in the 1940s. Phil also worked frequently with his nephew Marty Napoleon, a jazz pianist. In 1959 he moved to Miami, Florida, where he ran a club called "Napoleon's Retreat" where he played for many years.

Red Hot Jazz Bio & MP3s
Favorite Fridays: Phil Napoleon Will Say “Anything”

Laurindo Almeida
b. Sao Paulo, Brazil
d. (May ?) July 26, 1995, Van Nuys, CA.
Discovered by Stan Kenton when the band was touring Brazil, he returned and played in Kenton's band. Later recorded with Bud Shank, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Stan Getz. Worked and recorded with the LA Four which included Bud Shank, Ray Brown, and Shelly Manne or Jeff Hamilton.
Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council
Blues/Folk guitar
b. Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
d. June 1976, Sanford, NC, USA.
In the mid-1920s, he was playing the streets of Chapel Hill with his friends, the brothers Leo and Thomas Strowd. In January 1937, John Baxter Long, a talent scout for ACR Records brought him to New York where he was recorded playing with another Bluesman, -'Blind Boy' Fuller. In the 1940s and 1950s, Floyd was back in his home town of Chapel Hill, playing either alone or with his old friend Thomas Strowd, at the local radio station and in country clubs. In the late 1960s, he suffered a stroke partially paralysing his throat muscles and slowing his motor skills. He relocated to Sanford, NC, where he later died.
Floyd Council - Wikipedia

Booker T. Laury (né: Lawrence Laury) piano
b. Memphis, TN, USA.
Booker T. Laury grew up with Memphis Slim and the two are good friends. Consequently, his piano style has much of the same barrelhouse sound as Slim's.
Laury has stayed in Memphis, however, playing in the same clubs his entire life. Although some foreign albums were released, he had no domestic full-length. Therefore, Bullseye Blues released Nothin' but the Blues, with Laury's voice and piano the only instruments on the record.
~ John Bush

Grachan Moncour, Bass
b. Miami, FL, USA.
d. 1996, USA. 
A fairly decent history of jazz can be had simply by buying records featuring either Grachan Moncur II or Grachan Moncur III. Bebop would get slighted somewhat in this highly unusual approach to assembling a jazz collection, yet several key developments would be well documented, including aesthetic tinkering with the swing rhythm section sound as well as the revolutionary progression from funky hard bop to militant free jazz. Whatever friendly competition the Moncur father and son may have had over their respective discographies -- a set of twin towers on either vinyl or CD -- has been scuttled, however, by discographers who refuse to use Roman numerals or, even worse, credit a session to both men out of sheer confusion.
The slim number of trombonists involved with avant-garde jazz has always helped put Grachan Moncur III somewhat out front -- if that didn't work, he could always ram his slide out to full length. In contrast, the overwhelming cast of rhythm section players from classic jazz has not helped the historical status of Grachan Moncur II, particularly known for his superb interplay with pianist Teddy Wilson. A multi-instrumentalist, the credits of Moncur II include not only bass but other low-sounding instruments, including tuba, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone, and even a bit of trombone. He may have even reached up for the alto saxophone on one session, but this could also be another discographical fudge-up.
Moncur II was already busy performing on at least three different instruments as a teenager in Miami, FL. Following a family move to Newark, NJ, Moncur II began concentrating more extensively on bass, his jobs including accompaniment for various pop vocalists on local radio. These broadcasts turned into something of a lucky break for the bassist. Producer John Hammond had his radio tuned into the Newark station one night, thought he heard something special in the rhythm section, and immediately began getting Moncur II gigs in which the company on-stage included big-name jazzmen.
In 1937, Moncur II helped start up a combo called the Savoy Sultans with his half-brother, Al Cooper. Moncur II worked regularly as a bassist with the latter group until it broke up in 1945, then began leading bands in association with Ace Harris, a pianist, and Joe Thomas, a tenor saxophonist. Miami beckoned in the '50s: returning to his hometown, Moncur II gigged regularly through the '60s as a member of the Myrtle Jones Trio. He died in the mid '90s.
~ Eugene Chadbourne

Johnnie Lee Wills
C&W vocals/guitar
d. Oct. 25, 1984, USA.
Member group: 'The Texas Playboys' Johnny was the second of four Wills brothers (and younger brother of Bob Wills).
Fiddler Johnnie Lee Wills led the most popular pre-war Western swing band around the Oklahoma area; that is, after older brother Bob moved his Texas Playboys to California in 1940. He was born in Jewett, TX, on September 2, 1912, the second of four musical sons and seven years behind Bob. Johnnie Lee learned about music from his father, and began playing banjo with Bob when the Texas Playboys moved to KVOO-Tulsa in 1934. He formed the Rhythmairs in 1939, but returned to the fold the following year when Bob split the Playboys into two groups. Johnnie Lee took over the second unit (switching from banjo to fiddle), with younger brother Luther Jay on bass. A few months later, Bob moved to California and left Johnnie with his own band, christened Johnnie Lee Wills & His Boys. The brothers remained close though, and when Bob needed a substitute as leader, he called Johnnie. Johnnie Lee Wills & His Boys signed with Decca in 1941, and recorded ten initial sides.
The group played on another session when a recording ban was lifted after World War II, but moved to Bullet Records in 1949. Wills' Bullet recordings proved to be the most popular of his career. Early in 1950, "Rag Mop" spent five weeks at the number-two spot in the country charts, and crossed over to the popular Top Ten; though a version by the Ames Brothers did even better. Later that year, "Peter Cotton Tail" also hit the country Top Ten. He moved to RCA Victor in 1952, but none of his recordings sold very well. Western swing's popularity was declining, though Wills' regional fame remained unchanged and he continued to appear regularly on KVOO until 1958.
Wills recorded several albums for Sims in the early '60s, but his band broke up in 1964. He continued to work occasional shows and dances, and opened a Western clothing store in Tulsa with his son, John Thomas Wills. By the late '70s, the Western swing revival took notice of Johnnie Lee Wills, and releases of his early-'50s material appeared on Rounder and Bear Family. He also recorded reunion albums forFlying Fish and Delta with many former Texas Playboys.
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Image: Portrait of Bob Cole
Robert Allen Cole
Afro-American composer
died in Catskill, NY, USA.
Age: 48

The Operetta "Rose Marie", opened
in New York City, and theatregoers
heard the song "Indian Love Call"
for the first time.
Rose Marie (operetta) - Wikipedia

Sophie Tucker recorded her signature song,
"Some of These Days", for Columbia Records.

Bing Crosby debuted on a 15 minute CBS radio show.

Moe Gale, owner: Gale Agency/Savoy Ballroom New York, NY, USA died.
Age: 65.

Darnell Howard, clarinet
died in San Francisco, CA, USA.
Age: 71.

Shell Smith
C&W guitarist, died.
Age: 72.

Earl Mason, piano
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Played with Billy Eckstine.

Ray Durant, piano/arranger
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 70.
(Member: 'Deep River Boys')

Bennie Payne, piano
died in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Age: 79.
Played with Cab Calloway.

Billy Taylor Sr., bass
died in Fairfax, VA, USA.
Age: 81.
Billy Taylor

Popular Song Hits Magazine vol 1 No 2-1934

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


All Star Trio
  • Jerry (Introducing, "At The High Brown Babies' Ball")


Lavinia Turner and James P. Johnson's Harmony Seven Who'll Drive Your Blues Away?


Georgia Melodians Charley, My Boy


Seattle Harmony Kings Darktown Shuffle
Original Indiana Five

Waring's Pennsylvanians
  • Hay Foot, Straw Foot


The Clevelanders (a Harry Reser group)


Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five - Ory's Creole Trombone


Isham Jones and his Orchestra - Always In My Heart (Forever On My Mind)

Original Dixieland Jass Band
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