Happy Birthday Buddy Bolden!!


Buddy Bolden, Cornet
b. New Orleans, LA, USA,
d. Nov. 4, 1931, Jackson, LA, USA
(Some sources show b. 1868)
Although no one knows when jazz music was "invented," a good starting point is when cornetist Buddy Bolden formed his first band in 1895. The first important name in jazz history, Bolden's career has long been buried in legend, but Donald Marquis' definitive book, In Search of Buddy Bolden, successfully pieced together a factual and coherent biography.
The Bolden Band in 1905. Standing, left to right: Jimmy Johnson, Buddy Bolden, Willie Cornish, William Warner. Sitting, left to right: Jefferson Mumford and Frank Lewis.
Bolden left school in 1890, learned cornet, and originally played dance music. Because he never recorded (a legendary 1898 cylinder has never been found), one can only guess how Bolden sounded, but according to reports he was very blues-oriented. He was the most popular musician in New Orleans by 1900, and an influence on later cornetists, but by 1906 he was slowly going insane. The following year, Bolden was committed to Jackson Mental Institute where he remained completely forgotten for his final 24 years.
~ Scott Yanow
Zeke Clements (Cowboy) vocals/guitar
b. Warrior, AL, USA.
At just age 17, Zeke was already a radio personality working as part of Chicago's famous 'National Barn Dance' radio program. He later went on to become a regular on Radio Station WSM's 'Grande Ole Opry' and the 'Louisiana Hayride' shows. Among his hit releases are "Smoke on the Water" and "Blue Mexico Skies." Very few folks today recall that Clements was also the original voice of "Bashful", -one of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs in the Disney full length cartoon film.

Paul Lavalle, reeds/composer/arranger/leader
b. Beacon, NY, USA
Paul Lavalle was a conductor, composer, arranger and performer on clarinet and saxophone. He was born Joseph Usifer on September 6, 1908 in Beacon, New York and died in Harrisonburg, Virginia on June 24, 1997.
Lavalle’s parents were Ralph and Jennie Usifer, both Italian immigrants. Graduating from Beacon High School, he planned to study law at Columbia University. After winning a scholarship there, Lavalle studied music at the Juilliard School and was a student of composition of Joseph Schillinger. He performed in many 1930s bands, including one in Havana, Cuba. In 1933 he became an arranger and clarinetist in the NBC house orchestra. His composition Symphonic Rhumba (1939), was broadcast by the NBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, on December 6, 1942.
Paul Lavalle - Wikipedia

Johnny Bernard Letman, trumpet/leader 
b. McCormick, SC, USA. d. 1992
(Played with Tiny Grimes Orch.)
Never a household name, Johnny Letman nevertheless had a long and frequently productive career as a solid and swinging trumpeter. He worked with Gerald Valentine in Illinois, Scat Man Crothers and Jimmy Raschelle in Columbus, Ohio and then spend time playing in Chicago with Delbert Bright, Bob Tinsley, Johnny Lang, Nat King Cole (1938), Horace Henderson (1941-42), Red Saunders (1942) and other local players. After a period living in Detroit (where he worked with Teddy Buckner and John Kirby), Letman settled in New York in 1944 and played with many groups including the Phil Moore Four, Lucky Millinder (1945), Cab Calloway (1947-49), Milt Buckner and the Count Basie Orchestra (1951).
Letman spent the 1950's and 60's mostly working in the studios, on television and in Broadway shows although he also headed his own combo and recorded occasionally in jazz settings including (during 1958-60) with Joe Thomas, Stuff Smith, Chubby Jackson and Panama Francis. Letman freelanced for years, playing with Sam "The Man" Taylor, Eddie Condon, Wilbur De Paris, Claude Hopkins and many others. He visited Paris in 1968 and made a few recordings (including with Tiny Grimes and Milt Buckner). Letman stayed busy in the 1970's, recording (in 1977) with Lionel Hampton, Cozy Cole and Earl Hines. His New Orleans Blues Serenaders toured Europe during 1985-86. Johnny Letman recorded as a leader in 1959 (four titles with a quartet that includes pianist Dick Wellstood), 1960 (a quintet album for Bethlehem) and Black & Blue (1968 with Hal Singer and Milt Buckner) in addition to participating on many dates as a sideman.
~ Scott Yanow

John Malachi
b. Red Springs, NC, USA.
d. Feb. 11, 1987, Washington, DC, USA.
Malachi worked with Illinois Jacquet, trombonist Trummy Young, Louis Jordan, and in the mid-1940s in Billy Eckstine's band. He also backed such well known singers as: Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, Joe Williams, and Al Hibbler.

Billy Rose, producer/lyricist
 b. New York, NY, USA.
d. Feb. 10.1966, Jaimaica, BWI.
né: William Samuel Rosenberg.
Biography ~by Jason Ankeny
"The little Napoleon of showmanship," Billy Rose was one of the most famous and feared show-biz impresarios of the early 20th century; the diminutive lyricist behind dozens of pop chestnuts (including a number of hits for first wife Fanny Brice), he also produced a series of hit musicals and even authored a widely read syndicated newspaper column, but earned his greatest notoriety for his ruthless, self-aggrandizing business practices. Born William Samuel Rosenberg in New York City on September 6, 1895, he grew up in the immigrant ghettos of Manhattan's Lower East Side, and upon graduating high school landed work as a stenographer for Bernard Baruch, then the head of Woodrow Wilson's war department; after World War I ended, he began writing songs, shortening his name to Billy Rose in the process. 

With co-writer Con Conrad, in 1923 Rose scored his first hit, "Barney Google," a song inspired by the popular comic strip character; "You've Got to See Mama Every Night" soon followed, while in 1924 he teamed with Marty Bloom and Ernest Brever for the novelty smash "Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?"

The list of Rose's subsequent hits is, at least on paper, most impressive; "It's Only a Paper Moon," "I Found a Million Dollar Baby (In a Five and Ten-Cent Store)," "That Old Gang of Mine," "Me and My Shadow," "Tonight You Belong to Me," and "The Night Is Young and You're So Beautiful" are just some of the songs which bear his lyricist credit. However, the extent of his contributions to these songs remains a matter of considerable debate; for example, according to a feature in the March 1999 issue of Retro Magazine, Ira Gershwin (with whom he shares equal credit for the tune "Cheerful Little Earful") claimed Rose contributed only a small change to one line, while other collaborators insist Rose insisted upon authorship for nothing more than a clever title. His co-writers ultimately agreed to Rose's tyrannical demands because of his brilliance as a negotiator; no one tangled with music publishers with the same tenacity or earned so hefty a percentage of the profits, insuring the songwriters received lucrative royalty checks even subtracting Rose's share.

Rose broke into Broadway in 1926, authoring "A Cup of Coffee, A Sandwich and You" for Gertrude Lawrence and The Charlot Revue. His first full-fledged Broadway score, Great Day!, followed in 1929; written with Edward Eliscu and Vincent Youmans, the production yielded numbers including "More Than You Know," "Happy Because I'm in Love," and "Without a Song." That same year Rose married "Funny Girl" Fanny Brice, who in 1930 starred in his first Broadway production, Sweet and Low (later revised under the title Crazy Quilt).

In 1935, he mounted Jumbo, a combination musical/circus produced at a then-unprecedented cost of $350,000.00; staged in New York's Hippodrome -- a massive venue the size of a city block -- the show featured indoor aerial stunts, high-wire acts, and wild animals in addition to talent including Jimmy Durante and Paul Whiteman (and even a Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart score). Despite good reviews and packed houses, Jumbo failed to turn a profit, but it nevertheless made Rose (whose name was above the title) one of the most famous producers in America.

At the 1937 Cleveland Great Lakes Expo, Rose introduced his next extravaganza, The Aquacade: a floating amphitheater, it featured water ballet; roller skating; the "Half and Half" (a dancer dressed in an outfit evenly divided between a tuxedo and a cocktail gown); hundreds of swimmers; and two Olympic champions, Johnny Weissmuller and Eleanor Holm, the latter soon becoming the producer's second wife.
After returning to Manhattan to open a nightclub named in his own honor, Rose produced a second Aquacade at the 1939 New York World's Fair, repeating the stunt at the San Francisco World's Fair a year later. In the meantime, his club the Diamond Horseshoe also created a sensation for its vaudeville-style entertainment, most notably a chorus line of 250-pound women; in 1945, the nightspot inspired a Hollywood musical, Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe, and also launched the career of an aspiring choreographer named Gene Kelly. Rose didn't neglect Broadway either; after producing Clifford Odets' Clash by Night, he produced Carmen Jones in 1943, Oscar Hammerstein II's all-black adaptation of Bizet's Carmen.
In 1947, Rose began writing "Pitching Horseshoes," a weekly column which at its peak ran in over 200 newspapers across the U.S.; excerpts later resurfaced in his autobiography Wine, Women and Words, complete with illustrations by Salvador Dali. Rose was by this time living in the apartment above the Ziegfeld Theater, which he purchased in 1944; although he remained married to Holm, he reportedly carried on a number of affairs, and became the subject of a major tabloid scandal when his ex-lover Joyce Matthews (the former wife of Milton Berle) slit her wrists in his bathroom.

The controversy culminated in a nasty divorce which the press declared "The War of the Roses," and after his marriage to Holm was over, in 1956 Rose wed Matthews, a relationship which itself ended three years later, although the couple briefly remarried. A fourth marriage, to Doris Warner Vidor, went kaput after just six months in 1964, the bride filing for divorce on the grounds of "extreme mental cruelty." Rose died of pneumonia at his Jamaica vacation home on February 10, 1966.
On This Date Include:


Benny Goodman's orchestra recorded "Sugar Foot Stomp"

(Victor Records - a Fletcher Henderson arrangement).

Shelton Brooks, songwriter
died in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Age: 89

After 20 years of going their separate ways, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were reunited Singer Frank Sinatra, had 'arranged' for Martin's surprised appearance on Lewis's annual "Labor Day Telethon" for Muscular Dystrophy.

Ernest Tubb, guitar/songwriter
died in Nashville, TN, USA.
Age: 70

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


All Star Trio

Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra - Me-Ow


Benson Orchestra of Chicago
  • Tomorrow Morning


Varsity Eight - Last Night On The Back Porch (I Loved Her Best Of All)

The Georgians - Land Of Cotton Blues


Charleston Chasers - Sugar Foot Strut

Louis Armstrong and his Hot SevenThe Last Time


Slim Lamar and his Southerners - Goofus

Wilton Crawley
  • My Perfect Thrill
  • Shadow Of The Blues

Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra - Justrite
Sammy Stewart and his Orchestra - front row left to right - George Dixon, Ikey Robinson, Bill Stewart, Ken Anderson, Sammy Stewart, Mance Worley, back row left to right Alex Hill, Sidney Catlett, Walter Fuller.
Sammy Stewart and his Orchestra


Luis Russell and his Orchestra
Red Nichols' Five Pennies


Joe Venuti and his New Yorkers - Out Of Breath And Scared To Death


Last Night On The Back Porch

There's a girl I'm wild about,
Every time I take her out
I hurry, I scurry, I worry so.
And we always can be found,
where there's no-one else around
If I lost her, what a blow,
I love her oh-wo-oh

Yes I love her in the morning and I love her at night
I love her yes I love her when the stars are shining bright
I love her in the Springtime and I love her in the Fall
But last night on the back porch, I love her best of all
Oh I love her in the morning and I love her at night
First time that I dug this chick it was true love at first sight
I love her in the Springtime and I love her in the Fall
But last time, gave her my frat pin then I loved her best of all
Oh I love her in the Springtime and I love her in the Fall
But last night Maw went shopping and then I loved her best of all

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