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Happy Birthday
Clarence Williams!


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Clarence Williams
b. New Orleans, LA, USA
d. Nov. 6, 1965, New York, NY, USA.
His brother, equally talented Spencer Williams, was born on October 14.
~by Scott Yanow
Although he was quite spirited playing jug, Clarence Williams was only a decent pianist and a likable but limited vocalist. However, he was also a talented composer, writing or co-writing dozens, of memorable songs like "Royal Garden Blues," "Everybody Loves My Baby," "West End Blues," "Sugar Blues," "Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do," and "Baby Won't You Please Come Home," and he was also a masterful organizer, responsible for scores of hot recordings issued under his name in the 1920s and '30s.
A superior businessman and an inventive hustler, Williams worked at all kinds of odd jobs in New Orleans, where he moved in 1906. He played piano in Storyville, always keeping aware of the latest hits from New York; he was a singer, dancer, and emcee with a minstrel show, and ran his own cabaret. He also co-ran a small publishing company with Armand J. Piron and soon realized its potential. Williams moved at first to Chicago, where he ran a music store, and then to New York, where he had great success with his publishing house. He composed songs, put together all-star groups to record them, and was also involved in selling sheet music of his hits; each activity helped the others. Williams managed some artists on the side, including Bessie Smith (whom he helped get started) for a brief time. Starting in 1923, he was also an A&R man for Okeh Records, and frequently accompanied blues singers.
A fascinating figure and one of the most successful black businessmen of the era, Clarence Williams had a real ear for talent. Among the more notable classic jazz musicians who appeared on his records (many of which were issued as being by his Blue Five or Blue Seven) were soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet; trumpeters Louis Armstrong, Joe Smith, Bubber Miley, Tommy Ladnier, Louis Metcalf, King Oliver, Red Allen, and Ed Allen; trombonists Charles Irvis, Tricky Sam Nanton, and Jimmy Harrison; clarinetists Buster Bailey and Cecil Scott; flutist Albert Socarras; tenors Coleman Hawkins and Benny Waters; Cyrus St. Clair on tuba; drummer/washboard player Floyd Casey; pianists James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith; and Eva Taylor (whom he married in 1923) on vocals. Quite remarkably, all of Clarence Williams' recordings as a leader have been made available by the Classics label on 14 CDs.
At the height of his power in the early '30s, Clarence Williams' importance waned as the decade continued and swing took over. After 1937, he only appeared on one final session (two songs in 1941), concentrating on the business side of music. In 1943, he sold his company to Decca and became a shop owner in Harlem. Williams was seriously injured when hit by a taxi in 1956 and passed away in 1965. The 1976 bio-discography Clarence Williams by Tom Lord gives one an idea of his many accomplishments.

Nora Bayes
Nora Bayes (October 8, 1880 – March 19, 1928) was a popular American singer, comedian and actress of the early 20th century.
Early life and career
Born Eleanora Sarah Goldberg to Elias and Rachel (née Miller) Goldberg, with "Dora" being a pet or nickname, to a Jewish family in Joliet, Illinois; she had a brother, Harry, and a sister, Mrs. Ida Klein. Bayes was performing professionally in vaudeville in Chicago by age 18. She toured from San Francisco, California to New York City and became a star both on the vaudeville circuit and the Broadway stage.

In 1908, she married singer-songwriter Jack Norworth. The two toured together and were credited for collaborating on a number of compositions, including the immensely popular "Shine On, Harvest Moon", which the pair debuted in Florenz Ziegfeld's Follies of 1908. Bayes and Norworth divorced in 1913.

After America entered World War I Bayes became involved with morale boosting activities. George M. Cohan asked that she be the first to record a performance of his patriotic song "Over There". Her recording was released in 1917 and became an international hit. She also performed shows for the soldiers. In 1919, she recorded "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree)?" for Columbia which became a hit for that year.

Bayes made many phonograph records (some with Norworth) for the Victor and Columbia labels. From 1924–28, her accompanist was pianist Louis Alter, who later composed the popular songs "Manhattan Serenade", "Nina Never Knew", and "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?".

Bayes established her own theater, The Nora Bayes Theater, on West 44th Street in New York.

Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth
Marriages and family
Bayes married five times. Her first husband was Otto Gressing, a Chicago businessman, and Norworth was her second. Husband number three was a dancer named Harry Clarke who also performed with her in vaudeville. Husband number four was New York business man Arthur Gordoni. Her fifth and last husband was Benjamin Friedland, a New York City businessman and garage owner.

Bayes bore no biological children in any of her marriages. However, she adopted three children. The oldest was Norman Bayes, adopted by Bayes and Gordoni in March 1918. Bayes' second adopted child was a daughter named Lea Nora, adoption date July 25, 1919. Her third adopted child was Peter Oxley Bayes, born March 9, 1921 in London and adopted on March 16, 1922.

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In 1928, Nora Bayes was diagnosed with cancer and died following surgery. She was buried 18 years later with her fifth husband, Ben Friedland, in the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York, although inexplicably, her grave is not marked.

On April 11, 2006, under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, Nora Bayes was added to the National Recording Registry. The citation stated that she was

Inextricably associated in popular imagination with World War I... a former member of the Ziegfeld Follies, an extremely popular vaudevillian and a Broadway star, she recorded a number of other songs to boost morale during the war and performed extensively for the soldiers.
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Pop culture

Shine On, Harvest Moon
1909 Edison Records recording of Jack Norworth and Nora Bayes' 1908 hit Shine On, Harvest Moon with Ada Jones and Billy Murray

Bayes was portrayed by Ann Sheridan in the 1944 musical biopic Shine On, Harvest Moon, which focused on her relationship with Norworth (Dennis Morgan) and ignored her other husbands. She was also portrayed by Frances Langford in the movie Yankee Doodle Dandy, where she and James Cagney (as George M. Cohan) perform Over There.

In the 1941 play, Arsenic and Old Lace, drama critic Mortimer Brewster arrives home from reviewing a play. He tells his fiancée that he's just been "to The Nora Bayes Theater, and I should have known better," at which point he comes face-to-face with his brother Jonathan, who's had his face altered through plastic surgery to look like Boris Karloff. He then says, "My God – I'm still there!"

The 1980 Garson Kanin novel Smash is about an attempt to make a Broadway musical out of Nora Bayes' life. The novel serves as the inspiration for the 2012 television series Smash, although the subject of the show's fictional musical is not Bayes but Marilyn Monroe.
Nora Bayes

Flavio Ambrosetti, Alto Sax
b. Lugano, Switzerland
The father of trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti, multi-instrumentalist Flavio Ambrosetti, was a top saxophonist on the European scene in the '50s and '60s, and is one of the great legends of the Swiss jazz scene, specifically the Italian part of this tri-cultural nation. The elder Ambrosetti began his studies in his hometown of Lugano, working both privately and at a local music studio, and beginning with piano. (He passed this regime along to his son, who began his music studies exactly the same way some three decades later.) Flavio Ambrosetti soon added vibraphone and the saxophone family to his instrumental skills. In the late '30s, Ambrosetti heard tenor saxophone giant Coleman Hawkins performing in Switzerland, a concert that was a huge influence on his musical development.
He began gigging with many Swiss jazz groups, and in the late '40s played in Paris for the first time in the group of Hazy Osterwald. Ambrosetti's number one influence was Charlie Parker, an opinion that he stuck to the way the contents of a Swiss "rosti" dish adhere to the bottom of the cooking pan. Tom Lord's Jazz Discography lists him as participating in some 45 recording sessions between the '40s and the late '70s. By the early '60s, his son had joined a combo that also included pianist George Gruntz and drummer Daniel Humair.
In 1967, this group was invited to perform at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. The four players formed an all-star big band in 1972, starting out with the name the Band which evolved into the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, possibly because too many audience members were shouting out requests for "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." The Enja album Anniversary, released in 1996, would be the obvious place to start with this artist, as it features him working in the inspired company of such top jazz artists as tenor saxophonists Gato Barbieri and Sal Nistico, drummer Louis Hayes, and bassist Sam Jones. Several vinyl releases by the Gruntz bands on the MPS include the Ambrosettis, both father and son, in action alongside trumpeters Woody Shaw and expatriate Benny Bailey, multi-instrumentalist reedman Charlie Mariano, and many others.
~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

Sam Davis, piano
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.

James Charles "J.C." Heard, Drums
b. Dayton, OH, USA.
d. Sept. 27, 1988, Royal Oak, MI, USA.
J.C. Heard was a very supportive drummer versatile enough to fit comfortably into swing, bop, and blues settings. He was in vaudeville shows as a dancer in his youth. Heard's first important job playing drums was with Teddy Wilson's big band in 1939. He later worked with Wilson's sextet, and with Coleman Hawkins and Benny Carter. Heard was with Cab Calloway's Orchestra (1942-1945), recorded with top bop musicians, led his own band at Cafe Society (1946-1947), was a member of Erroll Garner's Trio (1948), and toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic. During 1953-1957, he spent time in Japan and Australia; he freelanced in New York during 1957-1966 (including playing with the Coleman Hawkins-Roy Eldridge quintet and in 1961 with Teddy Wilson's Trio); and then, in 1966, J.C. Heard moved to Detroit, where he worked as a bandleader and a mentor to younger musicians into the mid-'80s.

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Johnie Lewis
Southern Blues Guitar/Harmonica.
d. ????.
Johnie Lewis was a decent, if unexceptional, singer and guitarist in the Southern rural style, particularly accomplished at playing slide. Though he was born in Alabama and grew into adulthood in Georgia, Lewis spent most of his life in Chicago, moving the city in the 1930s. A painter by profession, Lewis only pursued music as an avocation, but through one of his painting jobs, he came to the notice of a filmmaker doing a documentary about Chicago blues. His appearance in that film lead to recording sessions for Arhoolie in the early '70s.
~ Richie Unterberger

C. E. Moody, C&W guitar/mandolin
b. Calhoun County, GA, USA.
d. 1977.
Age: 87.
né: Charles E. Moody.
Member: "The Georgia Yellow Hammers", Bill Chitwood, Bud Landress, and Charles Moody.
(Interestingly, Bud Landress was the "The Georgia Yellow Hammers" fiddler, but a Black fiddler called Andrew Baxter, did sit in for a recording session with this southern White band.) CAUTION: Do Not Confuse with Clyde Moody, né: Clyde Leonard Moody, b. Sept. 19, 1915, Cherokee, North Carolina, USA, who was also a Bluegrass/Old-Time Country (String Band) Singer, Songwriter, Guitar, and Mandolin musician.
Gerry Moore, Piano
b. London, England
d. Jan 30, 1993 Twickenham, England, UK.
Gerald Moore CBE (30 July 1899 – 13 March 1987) was an English pianist best known for his career as one of the most in-demand accompanists of his day, accompanying many of the world's most famous musicians.
Raul Roulien
b: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
d: Sept. 8, 2000, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil. (pneumonia).
né: Ral Pepe Acolti Gil.
No one will ever forget his beautiful singing of the tango "Orchids In The Moonlight", in the film 'Flying Down To Rio', which co-starred Lupe Velez and Gene Raymond. This was also the very first film in which the team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were seen. In addition to his acting and singing, Raul also composed some songs including music for the films 'Te Quiero Con Locura (1935 songs. aka in USA: 'I'm Crazy About You'; 'Music Is Magic' (1935); and 'Granaderos del Amor 1934. aka: Grenadiers of Love'.
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Hal "Cornbread" Singer, Tenor Sax/Leader
b. Tulsa, OK, USA.
Over his career, he not only led his own group, but worked with such orchestras as Jay McShann, Earl Bostic, "Hot Lips" Page, Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge, Lucky Millinder, and Duke Ellington.
Hal Singer - Wikipedia

William John "Bill" Stegmeyer, Clarinet
b. Detroit, MI, USA.
d. Aug. 19, 1968.
Although he was never that famous, Bill Stegmeyer was a fine clarinetist who excelled in trad settings without stealing the spotlight; he was also a talented (if underrated) arranger. Stegmeyer studied at Transylvania College (1934-36). He picked up early experience arranging for Austin Wylie in 1937 and played clarinet and alto with an early version of Glenn Miller's Orchestra (1938). He gained some recognition for his clarinet playing with Bob Crosby (1939-40) and in the 1940's he worked and arranged for Billy Butterfield, Yank Lawson, Bobby Hackett, Will Bradley and Billie Holiday (1945-47).
Stegmeyer was the staff arranger for Detroit radio station WXYZ (1948-50) and he made a good living arranging for the popular "Hit Parade" television show during 1950-58 and as staff conductor for CBS in the 1960's before dying of cancer at the age of 51. Stegmeyer did not neglect his own playing, being a member of the Yank Lawson/Bob Haggart group during 1951-54 and occasionally playing with Lawson, Haggart and Butterfield in later years. Bill Stegmeyer, who recorded five selections as a leader for Signature in 1945 along with a couple of VDiscs, appeared on records with most of the aforementioned plus Jimmy McPartland, Will Bradley and Ruby Braff.
~ Scott Yanow
Karel Vlach, Leader
b. Prague, Czechoslovakia
d. Feb, 26, 1986
Karel Vlach (October 8, 1911 (Prague) – February 26, 1986 (Prague) was a Czech dance orchestra conductor and arranger.
He founded his first orchestra in 1938. Many important composers, instrumentalists and arrangers of the Czech jazz scene gradually went through his band. In 1947-48 Vlach's orchestra cooperated with the V+W Theatre (former Osvobozené divadlo). He recorded prolifically with Supraphon and his output includes both light classical and orchestral as well as jazz and pop arrangements for big band with strings. He also arranged and conducted many Czech film scores from 1940 to 1980. He launched the singing careers of Czech artists Yvetta Simonová (whom he married) and Milan Chladil in 1958. He and his musical colleagues Dalibor Brazda and Gustav Brom also arranged and recorded many titles for British singer Gery Scott in the late 1950s, mostly from what is now termed the American Songbook series. Many of these titles are now collectors items.

Will H. Vodery, (Ragtime) piano/composer
b. Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Vodery: Carolina Fox Trot
This Black songwriter also co-composed with Henry Creamer, and some of their songs were performed by the famous Black vaudevillian Bert Williams. In 1922, though already ill, Bert Williams began working in the musical "Under the Bamboo Tree",- it was to be his last show. While on tour with the show in Detroit, Williams collapsed onstage and was rushed back to New York. Upon his arrival, he received a blood transfusion from Will Vodery, which enabled him to live long enough to finish his last will and testament before he finally expiring on March 4, 1922.
George Webb, Piano/Leader
b. Camberwell, London, England
George Webb (8 October 1917 – 10 March 2010) was a British pianist considered by many as the father of the traditional jazz movement in Britain.

He grew up with a love of early jazz recordings, principally those made by the New Orleans musicians; and in his playing he tried to re-create the style of such bands as King Oliver's.

With his band, George Webb's Dixielanders, he played regularly and famously at The Red Barn public house at Barnehurst, Kent, from the early 1940s.

Among the musicians who played in the band at various times were the great British jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton, Wally Fawkes the clarinettist and Eddie Harvey the trombonist.

In later life, as well as continuing to play, George was also a promoter of jazz festivals.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Max Freedman, songwriter
died in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Age: 69.

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Harry Carney, bari-sax
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 64.

Bob Newman
Member: 'The Georgia Crackers'
died. Age: 63.

H. Gordon Freeman
label co-owner (Capitol Records)
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 86.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


The California Ramblers
  • Melancholy
  • You Darling You


Original Indiana Five
  • “I'm Gonna Hang Around My Sugar”
  • “Melancholy Lou”
Clarence Williams' Blue Five

Ted Lewis and his Band - “Bam-Bam-Bamy Shore”
“The Camel Walk”


Edwin J. McEnelly’s Orchestra - “Sleep, Baby, Sleep”

Isham Jones and his Orchestra - “Feeling That Way”
“Song Of The Blues”

    King Oliver's Orchestra - “Sweet Like This”
    “Too Late”

    Ben Selvin and his Orchestra - “(Everyone In Town Loves) Little Mary Brown”


    Rhythmakers - “Someone Stole Gabriel's Horn”
    • “Who Stole The Lock (On The Hen House Door)”


    Martha Raye voc, w/David Rose Orch
    • "Once In A While"
    • "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater"


    Benny Goodman Orch.
    • "Buckle Down Winsocki", -Tom Dix vocal.


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    After you've gone and left me crying
    After you've gone there's no denying

    You'll feel blue you'll feel sad

    You'll miss the dearest pal you've ever had

    There'll come a time don't forget it

    There'll come a time when you'll regret it

    Some day when you'll grow lonely

    Your heart will break like mine

    And you'll want me only

    After you've gone after you've gone


    Ned Washington / Edgar Hayes / Irving Mills 1932

    Stop this meetin', gather round,
    Put those horns down on the ground.
    Quiet down now, shut off them bells!
    Who's got that horn of Gabriel's?
    Now Gabriel is mighty sore,
    'Cause he cant blow his horn no more!
    He's gotta have a horn to play,
    To make us all awaken on Judgement Day!
    You'll be comin', you'll be goin',
    You'll be waitin' for that blowin,
    But you'll all be left on Judgement Day,
    'Cause someone stole Gabriel's horn!.
    You'll be weepin', you'll be gnashin',
    you'll be fightin' and you'll be clashin',
    When the Lord steps down in front to say,
    "Someone stole Gabriel's horn!".
    Ho-oh-ho, Gabriel took so long to learn it,
    Ho-oh-ho, won't the finder please reurn it!
    You'll he hoppin' like a pigeon,
    You'll be shoutin' sweet religion,
    But you'll all be left on Judgement Day,
    Someone stole Gabriel's horn!.
    Now I can't tell when you all play,
    I'll have to find some other way;
    If I heard that horn I'd know the tone,
    Let's try each one of you alone.
    Now if Mister Gabe heard that, and I'm sure he did,
    He's gonna be glad his horn was hid.
    He's gettin' old and his eyes are dim,
    So he'll probably hire you to play for him!

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