Happy Birthday Henry W. Ragas!!!


Jimmy Cain, tenor sax
b. Columbus, OH, USA.

John Casimir, clarinet, leader
b. New Orleans, LA, USA
d. Jan 3, 1963, New Orleans, LA, USA.
John Casimir was a New Orleans jazz clarinetist and bandleader, best remembered as the leader of The Young Tuxedo Brass Band for some 20 years up to his death.
Casimir started playing professionally with the Young Eagles Band with Lee Collins in 1919.
He was also a member of the Original Tuxedo Brass Band, often following the lead of Louis Armstrong.
The Young Tuxedo Brass Band's 1958 album was released under the title "Jazz Begins" by Atlantic Records. It was the only recording the band released under his leadership. Casimir also led a dance band using some of the same musicians under the name The Young Tuxedo Jazz Band, which also recorded. Casimir played Bb clarinet with the jazz band, and the distinctive higher Eb clarinet with brass bands.

Dale Troy "Stoney" Cooper
C&W fiddler, b. Harman, WV, USA.
Members of the Grand Ole Opry for twenty years, "Stoney" Cooper and his wife Wilma Lee were one of
~by Sandra Brennan
Dale Troy "Stoney" Cooper and his wife Wilma Lee were one of the premier husband-and-wife duos in country music. Staples of the Grand Ole Opry for twenty years, they performed together for close to four decades, and helped old-time music evolve into modern country music.
They were born four years apart on opposite ends of Randolph County, West Virginia. Cooper came from a family of fiddle players, while Wilma's family loved performing sacred songs, billing themselves as the Singing Leary Family. Following his high school graduation, Cooper began fiddling for Rusty Hiser's Green Valley Boys at a radio station in West Virginia; Wilma's family was singing on the air in Virginia. Following the breakup of his band, Stoney joined the Learys as a sideman. He and Wilma began singing together and were married in 1941. The couple began their career together singing at various radio stations around the country, ending up on the Wheeling Jamboree and staying there for the next 10 years as one of the show's most enduringly popular acts.
The duo signed to Columbia in 1949 and remained for five years, releasing several classic singles, including "Sunny Side of the Mountain" and the devotional "Walking My Lord Up Calvary Hill." Stoney and Wilma formed a backing acoustic band called the Clinch Mountain Clan, which featured several dobro, fiddle, and mandolin players over the years. They moved to Hickory Records in 1955 and the following year had two small hits. In 1957, the Coopers joined the Opry. Their most successful year was 1959, when they released three Top Five hits: "Come Walk With Me," "Big Midnight Special," and "There's a Big Wheel." They had two Top 20 hits in 1960 and scored their last chart appearance in 1961 with the Top Ten hit Wreck on the Highway.
Stoney suffered a heart attack in 1963 and was forced to slow down considerably. The two moved to Decca in 1965 and tried to update their sound, without much success. In 1977, Stoney finally succumbed to his health problems; Wilma Lee continued to tour and play the banjo in a more bluegrass-oriented style.

Calvin Dillard, sax
b. Little Rock, AR, USA.

Bob Newman
C&W Guitar/Singer-Songwriter/Upright Bass
b. Cochran, GA, USA, d. Oct. 8, 1983
Member: "The Georgia Crackers"

Henry W. Ragas, piano
b: New Orleans, LA, USA.
One of the first of many early deaths in jazz, Henry Ragas' one claim to fame was his association with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Ragas picked up experience as a solo pianist during 1910-13. He went with Johnny Stein's band to Chicago in 1916 and, when several of the musicians left the group in order to form the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Ragas was among them. 

The ODJB, the first jazz group to ever record, became a major hit in 1917. Ragas was on the band's first 21 recordings (including "Bluin' The Blues" which he composed) although he is nearly inaudible due to the primitive recording technology of the era. Tragically shortly before the group was set to tour England (where they became a sensation), Henry Ragas was a victim of the 1919 flu epidemic and he died at the age of 27; J. Russell Robinson would be his permanent replacement with the ODJB.
~ Scott Yanow
Blanche Thomas, Vocals
b: New Orleans, LA, USA.
d: April 21, 1977, New Orleans, LA, USA.
With: Alvin Alcorn; Paul Barbarin; Louis Cottrell; Al Hirt; Art Hodes; Franz Jackson; Bill Reinhardt and Joe Robichaux.

Ford Lee "Buck" Washington
b. Louisville, KY, USA.
d. Jan. 1, 1955, New York, NY, USA.
~by Scott Yanow
Part of the famous team of Buck & Bubbles, Buck Washington (a fine pianist and occasional singer) worked with singer-dancer John W. Sublett (Bubbles) for decades. Both Buck and Bubbles were orphans and they first started teaming up as teenagers around 1917, performing in theatres and vaudeville as a team. They toured Europe several times in the 1930's and appeared in a few films (including Cabin In The Sky and A Song Is Born). 

Washington recorded on piano with Louis Armstrong (including a trumpet-piano duet version of "Dear Old Southland" in 1930), Bessie Smith in 1933 (her final session) and Coleman Hawkins (1934 in Europe). Buck & Bubbles team also recorded a few numbers as duets in 1933 and 1936 and four songs with a band in 1936. The team finally broke up in 1953, Buck Washington worked for a little while with Jonah Jones as they accompanied comedian Timmie Rogers, and he passed away a couple years later at the age of 51.

"Big" Joe Williams
Vocals/guitar, Vocalist
b: Crawford, MI, USA.
~by Barry Lee Pearson
Big Joe Williams may have been the most cantankerous human being who ever walked the earth with guitar in hand. At the same time, he was an incredible blues musician: a gifted songwriter, a powerhouse vocalist, and an exceptional idiosyncratic guitarist. Despite his deserved reputation as a fighter (documented in Michael Bloomfield's bizarre booklet Me and Big Joe), artists who knew him well treated him as a respected elder statesman. Even so, they may not have chosen to play with him, because -- as with other older Delta artists -- if you played with him you played by his rules.
As protégé David "Honeyboy" Edwards described him, Williams in his early Delta days was a walking musician who played work camps, jukes, store porches, streets, and alleys from New Orleans to Chicago. He recorded through five decades for Vocalion, Okeh, Paramount, Bluebird, Prestige, Delmark, and many others. As a youngster, I met him in Delmark owner Bob Koester's store, the Jazz Record Mart. At the time, Big Joe was living there when not on his constant travels. According to Charlie Musselwhite, he and Big Joe kicked off the blues revival in Chicago in the '60s.
When I saw him playing at Mike Bloomfield's "blues night" at the Fickle Pickle, Williams was playing an electric nine-string guitar through a small ramshackle amp with a pie plate nailed to it and a beer can dangling against that. When he played, everything rattled but Big Joe himself. The total effect of this incredible apparatus produced the most buzzing, sizzling, African-sounding music I have ever heard.
Anyone who wants to learn Delta blues must one day come to grips with the idea that the guitar is a drum as well as a melody-producing instrument. A continuous, African-derived musical tradition emphasizing percussive techniques on stringed instruments from the banjo to the guitar can be heard in the music of Delta stalwarts Charley Patton, Fred McDowell, and Bukka White. Each employed decidedly percussive techniques, beating on his box, knocking on the neck, snapping the strings, or adding buzzing or sizzling effects to augment the instrument's percussive potential. However, Big Joe Williams, more than any other major recording artist, embodied the concept of guitar-as-drum, bashing out an incredible series of riffs on his G-tuned nine-string for over 60 years.
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band - San Francisco 1921.
Left to right: Ram Hall,Honore Dutrey, King Oliver, Lil Hardin-Armstrong,
David Jones, Johnny Dodds, Jimmie Palao, Ed Garland

Minor "Ram" Hall
died in Sawtelle, CA, USA.

Edric Connor, vocals
died in London, England, UK.
Age: 54.

Leonard S. Chess
Label owner (Chess)
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 52.

Gene Krupa, drums
died in Yonkers, NY, USA.
Age: 64.
Morris Harris, vocals
died in Syracuse, NY, USA.
Age: 59.
Member: 'The Ink Spots'.

"Mother" Esther Mae Scott, guitar
died in Washington, DC, USA.
Age: 85.

Dana Suesse died.
Age: 75.
Composed hit tune "You Ought to be in Pictures" (Janet Gaynor sang in in the film.)
Art Blakey Sr, drums
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 71.

Theresa Needham, vocals
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 80
Member: 'Theresa's Lounge'.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Bessie Smith - Any Woman's Blues


Ma Rainey (Ma Rainey and her Georgia Jazz Band) - Cell Bound Blues

Bertha "Chippie" Hill - Hard Time Blues

The Above Photo & Information on Dardanella is from: 
Thomas Edison's Attic
Irving Mills' Hotsy-Totsy Gang
  • Dardanella
Irving Mills' Hotsy-Totsy Gang - Since You Went Away


Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - Business In F



Oh, sweet Dardanella,
I love your harem eyes,
I'm a lucky fellow to capture such a prize,
Oh, Allah knows my love for you
And he tells you to be true, Dardanella,
Oh, hear my sigh, my Oriental,
Oh, sweet Dardanella, prepare the wedding wine,
There'll be one girl in my harem, when you're mine.
We'll build a tent
Just like the children of the Orient.
Oh, sweet Dardanella
My star of love divine.
Down beside the Dardanella Bay,
Where Oriental breezes play,
There lives a lonesome maid Armenian.
By the Dardanelles with glowing eyes
She looks across the seas and sighs
And weaves her love spell so sirenian.
Soon I shall return to Turkestan
I will ask for her heart and hand.
Oh, sweet Dardanella,
I love your harem eyes,
I'm a lucky fellow to capture such a prize,
Oh, Allah knows my love for you
And he tells you to be true, Dardanella,
Oh, hear my sigh, my Oriental,
Oh, sweet Dardanella, prepare the wedding wine,
There'll be one girl in my harem, when you're mine.
We'll build a tent
Just like the children of the Orient.
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