Cyril Blake
b. Trinidad, British West Indies
d. Dec. 3, 1951.
Cyril is the brother of drummer George 'Happy' Blake.
Cyril left the islands in 1918, arrived in England and became an immediate success as a guitarist in 'The Southern Syncopated Orchestra'. In the decades both before and after World War II, Blake was an essential part of the music scene of England. He found work in various ethnic bands, as well as in Rhythm and Blues groups before finally settling down to playing great Calypso music, - his roots. 

Among the bands in which he worked early in his career were the Leon Abbey and Happy Blake, and clarinetist Rudolph Dunbar orchestras. In the mid-1930s, Blake played in 'Leslie Thompson's Emperors of Jazz', But, perhaps, his biggest fame came as leader of 'Cyril Blake and His Jigs Club Band'. Among the many great Jazzmen who journeyed to 'Jigs' to hear Cyril Blake playing were Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington. His demise in 1951 deprived the world of a fine musical artist.

James A. Bland, Composer
b: Flushing, NY, USA.
d: May 5, 1911, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Bland was one of 8 children born in Flushing, New York to a free family. His father was one of the first U. S. Negro college graduates (Oberlin College, 1845). Because white men in blackface dominated the field of U. S. minstrel shows, Bland did not get very far in his U. S. minstrel career before the abolition of slavery in the United States. Beginning with an eight-dollar banjo purchased by his father, he was performing professionally by age 14.
Bland was educated in Washington, DC and graduated from Howard University in 1873. He wrote over 700 songs, including "In the Evening by the Moonlight," "O Dem Golden Slippers" (the theme song for the long running Philadelphia Mummers Parade) and "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", published in 1878, which, in a slightly modified form, was the official State Song of Virginia from 1940-1997.
Often called "The World's Greatest Minstrel Man", Bland toured the United States, as well as Europe. Beginning in 1881, he spent 20 years in London before returning to the United States. Bland toured Europe in the early 1880s with Haverly's Genuine Colored Minstrels and remained in England to perform as a singer/banjo player without blackface. Appearing as "The Prince of Negro Songwriters," he was invited to give command performances for Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales, and that after Stephen Foster, Bland is "the most distinguished creator of sentimental songs about the Negro and the South" and the "first major black popular song composer" to emerge from the black minstrel show. Music historian Eric Wilder calls Bland the black writer who "broke down the barriers to white music publishers' offices."
James A. Bland spent his later years in obscurity. He died from tuberculosis May 5, 1911 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Some sources give a death date of May 6, 1911.) Bland was buried in an unmarked grave without a funeral at Merion Memorial Park, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. In 1939 his grave was found by American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (A.S.C.A.P.) with the assistance of the editor of "The Etude" Magazine, James Francis Cooke. His grave was landscaped and a monument was erected. The Lions Club of Virginia also assisted in this effort.
The Lions Clubs of Virginia sponsor a music contest for school students called the "Bland Contest" in honor of James A. Bland. The Annual Bland Music Scholarships Program was established in 1948 to assist and promote cultural and educational opportunities for the musically talented youth of Virginia.
James Bland was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. A housing project in Flushing, Queens is named after him. A separate housing project in Alexandria, Virginia is also named for Bland.

Victor Jacoby, Composer
b: Budapest, Hungary
d. Dec. 10, 1921
Victor Jacobi, Jakobi Viktor (22 October 1883 – 10 December 1921) was a Hungarian operetta composer.
He studied at Zeneakadémia (Academy of Music) in Budapest at the same time as the noted Hungarian composers Imre Kálmán and Albert Szirmai. Jacobi began his career as "Jakabfi Viktor" on 17 December 1904 with the operetta "A rátartós királykisasszony".
His most famous operetta is "Szibill". The performance of this operetta was cancelled in London because of the beginning of World War I. After that, he left London for the United States and during his stay in New York City he became very ill. He died there at the age of 38.

Jack Harris, guitar
b. Little Rock, AR, USA.

Peck Kelley, piano/leader
d. Houston, TX, USA.
d: Dec. 26, 1980, Houston, TX, USA.
né: John Dickson Kelley.

A fine musician who very rarely ventured out of his hometown of Houston, - even refusing lucrative offers from other bandleaders. Without any doubt, "Peck" was the premier "White" bandleader in Houston Texas. In 1957, he finally recorded for the Commodore label, but the two discs were issued only ofter his death (Peck Kelley Jam with Dick Shannon Quartet) . Some of the many Jazz musicians who worked in his band include Louis Prima. "Pee Wee" Russell, and Jack and Charlie Teagarden. In 1921, Peck Kelley hired the young trumpeter, Jack Teagarden to play in his band (Peck Kelley's Bad Boys). At times, other members of "Peck's Bad B oys" included Clarinetists Leon Rappolo and "Pee Wee" Russell. Teagarden's association with Kelley would influence the future of Teagarden's entire musical career.

Peck Kelley band c. 1925 at Sylvan Beach, Galveston, TX. Peck is fifth from the left; Pee Wee Russell and Jack Teagarden are on his right. Photo: Jim Cullum collection.

In 1922, "Peck's" band worked that summer at the Garden of Tokio Ballroom in Galveston, Texas. From 1921 to 1925, Teagarden worked on and off with Kelley, and their mutual admiration, respect and friendship lasted for the rest of Teagarden's life.
Peck's Bad Boys: The Peck Kelley Story

Joseph Kosma, composer
b. Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)
d. August 7, 1969, La Roche-Guyon, France. 
né: Jozsef Kozma. (some sources claim b. Oct. 12, 1905. )

Ralph Percy Yaw
b. Enosburg Falls, VT, USA.
Ralph Yaw wrote arrangements for a great many swing-era bandleaders during the '30s and '40s, including Isham Jones, Cab Calloway, Eddie Barefield, Count Basie, and Les Brown, but Yaw is best-known for his work with Stan Kenton, for whom he wrote and arranged in the early '40s. Kenton put together his first band in 1941; from the beginning, it was an "arranger's band" and Yaw took advantage. He was (along with Kenton himself) responsible for much of that early band's book, arranging and composing dozens of original pieces for the band, including the notable "Two Moods." Yaw moved to Los Angeles in 1919 and began playing piano in local and touring bands. He played piano at the Coconut Grove in Bakersfield, CA, from 1927-1934; he was also the club's manager. His career as an arranger blossomed in the '30s; besides the aforementioned, he also wrote for Johnny Richards and Red Nichols. Yaw essentially ceased his jazz activities around 1947 and subsequently embarked on a career in country music. His "No Longer a Prisoner" was a hit for singer Hank Snow.
~ Chris Kelsey, Rovi
Ralph Yaw: Information from

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Clarence Profit, piano
died in New York, NY, USA.
A very talented swing pianist, Clarence Profit passed away just before the bop era officially began so one does not know for sure how he would have adjusted his style during the next few years. Profit began playing piano very early, at the age of three, and as a teenager he was playing professionally with a variety of local groups including his own band. He first recorded with the Washboard Serenaders during 1930-31 and then spent time leading bands in Antigua (in the West Indies) and Bermuda for a few years. After returning to New York in 1936, he formed his own trio, playing regularly in New York area clubs. During 1939-40 Profit recorded with his regular group (featuring either Billy Moore or Jimmy Shirley on guitar and bassist Ben Brown), displaying an advanced swing style and a bit of stride. The co-composer (with Edgar Sampson) of "Lullaby In Rhythm," Clarence Profit's premature death has led to him being somewhat obscure in jazz history books although he was rated quite high during his lifetime. 
~ Scott Yanow, Rovi

Carolina Slim
(né: Edward Harris), guitar
died in Newark, NJ, USA.
Age: 30
Leon Chappelear
C&W guitar/songwriter/leader, died.
Age: 53.
Suicide: Shot himself in the face with a shotgun. (aka Leon Chappel. né: Horace Leon Chappelear, Aug. 1, 1909) Chappelear was involved in an auto accident, on September 13, 1935 (Friday the 13th), that affected his brain, and behavior. Unable to sing as well as he once did, his career dwindled. Subsequently, he became involved in a geat many strange activities, and once was even jailed for gambling. In the early 1950s, he moved to the west coast and recorded a series of sides for Capitol as "Leon Chappel."

Walter Davis, piano
died in St. Louis, MO, USA.
Age: 51
Ransom Knowling, bass
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 55
Read More

Rosalie Hill, vocals
died in Senatobia, MS, USA.
Age: 58

Nate Kazebier
trumpet, died
Dorothy Shay
singer/actress/comedian died.
Age: 57.
Tagged: 'The Park Avenue Hill Billy"

Bunny Jones, sax
died in Roxbury, MA, USA.
Age: 76
Worked with Count Basie, and Illinois Jacquet

Clarence Cronic
gospel vocals and member of
"Smith's Sacred Singers" died.
Age: 88.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


All Star Trio
  • All the Quakers Are Shoulder Shakers (Introducing, "Take Me To The Land Of Jazz", "When The Preacher Makes You Mine", "Jazz Baby")


    Art Hickman and his Orchestra
    • June (Introducing: "Look What They've Done With Your Dog-Gone Dangerous Eyes")
    • Missy (Introducing: "Bamboola")


    Harry Reser and his Orchestra
    • Fond Of You


    Dixie Washboard Band
    • King Of The Zulus
    • The Zulu Blues

    The Broadway Bell-Hops
    • Don't Take That Black Bottom Away

    The Broadway Bell-Hops - Sunday

      Annette Hanshaw
      Annette Hanshaw - If I'd Only Believed In You
      My Baby Knows How - Voice Piano Accompaniment Irving Brodsky


        The California Ramblers
        • Chinese Jumble

        Sam Morgan's Jazz Band
        Bogalousa Strut
        • Down By The Riverside
        • Over In The Gloryland

        Short Dress Gal - Vocal Chorus by Sam Morgan


          Eddie Peabody - Painting The Clouds With Sunshine

          • Tiptoe Through The Tulips


            Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang and their All-Star Orchestra - After You're Gone
            Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang and their All-Star Orchestra - Beale Street Blues
            • Farewell Blues

            Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang and their All-Star Orchestra - Someday, Sweetheart


            ~(Henry Creamer/John Turner Layton)

            After you've gone and left me crying
            After you've gone there's no denying
            You'll feel hurt you'll feel sad
            You're gonna miss the best friend you ever had
            There'll come a time
            And you'll regret it
            There'll come a time
            You won't forget it
            Some day when you're feeling lonely
            Little heart's gonna pine like mine
            You'll want me only
            After you've gone
            After you've gone
            After you've gone
            And left me crying
            After you've gone
            There's no denying
            You'll feel hurt
            You'll feel sad
            You're gonna miss the best man you ever had
            There'll come a time
            When you'll regret it baby
            There'll come a time
            You won't forget it
            Oh babe think what you're doing-
            The way you treated me
            Will lead me to ruin
            After you've gone
            After you've gone

            ~W.C Handy
            I've seen the lights of gay Broadway,
            Old Market Street down by the Frisco Bay,
            I've strolled the Prado, I've gambled on the Bourse;
            The seven wonders of the world I've seen,
            And many are the places I have been,
            Take my advice, folks, and see Beale Street first!
            You'll see pretty browns in beautiful gowns,
            You'll see tailor-mades and hand-me-downs,
            You'll meet honest men, and pick-pockets skilled,
            You'll find that business never ceases 'til somebody gets killed!
            If Beale Street could talk, if Beale Street could talk,
            Married men would have to take their beds and walk,
            Except one or two who never drink booze,
            And the blind man on the corner singing "Beale Street Blues!"
            I'd rather be there than any place I know,
            I'd rather be there than any place I know,
            It's gonna take a sergeant for to make me go!
            I'm goin' to the river, maybe by and by,
            Yes, I'm goin' to the river, maybe by and by,
            Because the river's wet, and Beale Street's done gone dry!

            brought to you by... 
            Special Thanks To:
            Scott Yanow, 
            And all who have provided content for this site.