Happy Birthday Noel Coward!


Noel Coward
playwright, composer, vocals, actor
b. Teddington (London suburb), England, UK
d. March 26, 1973, Jamaica, BWI, (Heart Attack).
né: Noel Peirce Coward.
His play 'In Which We Serve' won a 1942 Academy Award, but almost every play he wrote was a "hit'. Among his plays were 'The Vortex' (1924), 'Hay Fever' (1925 - a 'hit' in London, a 'flop' in New York), 'On With The Dance' (1925), 'Fallen Angels' (1925), 'Easy Virtue' (1925), 'The Queen Was in the Parlour' (1926), 'The Rat Trap' (1926) and 'The Constant Nymph' in 1926.

During the autumn of 1927, two of his weakest plays were produced in London with disastrous results. The Mayfair comedy 'Home Chat' closed after a few weeks, and his 'Sirocco' enjoyed one of the most infamous opening nights in theatrical history. It was a sordid tale of free love among the wealthy, and the wealthy audience responded to this with jeers and cat-calls, -even fist fights after the final curtain.
When Coward faced the mob at the stage door, they spat at him. 1927 saw the production of his 'The Marquis', followed by 'This Year of Grace' (1928), 'Bittersweet' (1929), 'Private Lives' (1930), and 'Cavalcade' (1931).
Now at the peak of his popularity, Coward wrote and directed the London revue 'Words and Music' (1932), which included the song "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" and the romantic ballad "Mad About the Boy."
He follwed this with one of his most daring plays, 'Design For Living' (1933), in which he co-starred with friends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. In 1933, he also wrote, directed and co-starred with French soprano Yvonne Printemps in the London and New York productions of 'Conversation Piece'. In 1936, he wrote, directed and starred in the London and New York productions of 'Tonight at 8:30' a demanding set of nine one-act plays and musicals performed in repertory.
In 1939, World War II began when Britain declared war on Germany and Italy. After briefly serving as a secret agent in Paris, France, Coward began touring and entertaining troops in Europe, Africa and the Far East (often covering the expenses himself). In 1942, he turned out a trio of hit plays, including 'Present Laughter', 'This Happy Breed', and his biggest wartime hit 'Blithe Spirit' Still in 1942, Coward wrote, produced, directed and starred in the film 'In Which We Serve', the story of a British destroyer and its crew. Coward played the captain, a character based on his friend Lord Louis Mountbatten.
The years following the war were difficult for Coward. He continued to turn out plays and musicals but with the exception of the London revue 'Sigh No More' (1945), most of these works met with failure. Tastes had changed; still, Coward could only be Coward. Then, British postwar taxes became crippling, and Coward made the difficult decision to become an expatriate. He relocated briefly to Bermuda before settling in Jamaica.

He did meet with some success in America, - surprisingly after his appearance at a Las Vegas casino. He continued to be quite active, even living in Switzerland for awhile, but eventually returned to, and died in Jamaica.

Lud Gluskin

b: New York, New York, USA.
d: Oct. 13, 1969.
né: Ludwig Elias Gluskin.
Lud Gluskin, also known as Ludwig Grassnick, led a jazz and dance band in Europe during the late 1920s and early '30s. His recording output was enormous, and some say he waxed more than 700 sides during the height of his popularity. He was born Ludwig Elias Gluskin in New York City on December 16, 1898. By the mid-'20s, however, he was on European soil working as a drummer in French pit orchestras and dance bands, most memorably at Le Perroquet, a swank nightclub positioned above the Casino de Paris.

In July 1927 the Playboys, a Chicago-style jazz band from Detroit led by violinist Fred Zierer appeared on the scene, played their scheduled engagements, and promptly ran out of money. Rallying the players, Gluskin took them to Italy where they performed at the Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido and returned the following year with a well-organized group which became the core of the Lud Gluskin Orchestra. The band often used Jean Goldkette arrangements, which is most logical considering the fact that some of its key players had originally worked in Michigan, Goldkette's stomping grounds. North American members of the Gluskin orchestra were trumpeter Arthur Briggs, New Orleans-born trombonist Emile Christian, reedmen Gene Prendergast, Spencer Clark, and Danny Polo, as well as pianist Paulie Freed. Europeans included trumpeter Faustin Jeanjean, trombonist and cellist Leo Vauchant-Arnaud, reed and flute man Maurice Cizeron, and bassist Arthur Pavoni.
Gluskin's band worked constantly, providing music at the Paris Paramount Studios where American soundtracks were dubbed into French and entertaining patrons at the Casino. When Vauchant-Arnaud left to sign on with British bandleader Jack Hylton, Gluskin hired Emile Christian, incorporating an authentic Crescent City jazz man into the group and greatly enhancing the quality of traditional warhorses like "Tiger Rag" and "Milenberg Joys." In December 1928 the orchestra took itself to Berlin where they commenced making records at a terrific pace while wowing the public at numerous nightclubs. During 1929 they cheerfully traversed a circuit from Paris to the Riviera to Berlin, where Gluskin advertised his band's appearance at the Haus Germania by leafleting from an aeroplane.
As the global economy weakened with the onset of the Great Depression and Gluskin's Russian-Jewish ancestry barred him from bookings in Nazi Germany, dwindling work opportunities caused him to dissolve his band in 1933 and return to the U.S. in February 1934. Gluskin proceeded to form a sweet society dance orchestra which was soon heard over the radio on a regular basis.
In 1937 he secured a position at CBS in Hollywood as musical director. Ultimately he was able to enjoy a long and productive period of active maturity as well as a peaceful retirement. He passed away in Palm Springs, CA on October 13, 1989.
~ arwulf arwulf

Bernard Flood, Trumpet

b. Montgomery, AL, USA.

Put trumpeter Bernard Flood together with vocalist Ma Rainey and multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers and the listener is likely to be drenched. One of the more obscure members of the damply named jazz club was a graduate of Atlanta's famed Tuskegee Institute in the '20s. The following decade Flood trickled into New York City, becoming associated with a series of bandleaders in a slow and careful fashion. For the first two years he worked with Bob Neal, moved over to Fess Williams for about an equal length of time, became involved with Teddy Hill in 1933 through the middle of the decade, then was quickly in and out of the Luis Russell and Chick Webb outfits before joining up with Charlie Johnson.
By 1937 the trumpeter was hitting high notes with Edgar Hayes as well as Johnson, the former leader launching a terrific European tour. In 1939 Flood became part of Louis Armstrong's big-band project, dropping out for a spring 1941 James Reynolds gig before rejoining Satchmo's machine of marvel through 1943. At that point the military, an organization that only thinks it is more powerful than Louis Armstrong, dammed up the Flood within the walls of its bases. He flowed loose in 1946 to work with both Luis Russell and Duke Ellington, as well as to start up his own combo. Flood collaborated with the never depressed Happy Caldwell in both the late '40s and early '50s.
His retirement from full-time music was noted by biographers in the early '70s. Flood still was available for gigs, but didn't make any new recordings during this period. He eventually suffered from diabetes and lost both of his legs due to the effects of the disease. Despite the wonder of many of the fine recordings this man appeared on, his most compelling public performance is easily in the HBO documentary entitled Curtain Call, a portrait of several residents from the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, NJ. This is an assisted living facility where Flood was being cared for at the time the film was made. He is featured performing a great version of "Wonderful World," a song associated with his former boss Armstrong.
~ Eugene Chadbourne
Bernard Flood: Information from

Robert Alexander Gardner

C&W singer-songwriter/guitar

b. February 2, 1902, Gray, Kentucky, USA. 
Member: "Mac & Bob" (Mac: Lester McFarland)
This blind musician made his living as a piano tuner, making good use of his talent of perfect pitch. Then he began studying at the Kentucky School for the Blind, where he met multi-instrumentalist Lester MacFarland. The rest was recording history as the two teamed up to start a duo called Mac & Bob, which would go on to record about 200 records, selling something in the neighborhood of one million copies total. Audiences were swayed mostly by the group's music rather than any feelings of sympathy, and often didn't even know the two musicians were sightless. The partners developed a method of "writing" lyrics and musical notation for each other by punching out paper, which they called the "point system."
~ Eugene Chadbourne

Robert Alexander Gardner - Biography - - Mac and Bob

Kate Kühl
Kate Kühl was born in Köln on December 16th, 1899 as Elfriede Katharina Nehrhaupt. Kühl had wanted to become an opera singer but ultimately chose the career of a chanteuse and actress.

Kate Kühl died on December 29th, 1970 in Berlin.

"Turk" Murphy
b. Palermo, CA, USA, d. 1987.

Melvin Edward Alton “Turk” Murphy (born Palermo, California, December 16, 1915; died San Francisco, California, May 30, 1987) was renowned as a trombonist who played traditional and dixieland jazz in San Francisco.

Turk Murphy - Wikipedia
Virtual Museum of San Francisco entry entry

Peter Rasmussen

b. Horsholm, Denmark

Andy Razaf, Lyricist
b. Washington, D.C., USA
d. Feb. 3, 1973, North Hollywood, CA, USA.
né: Andrea Menentania Paul Razafinkeriefo.
Neph. of Queen Ranavalona III of Madagascar.
A descendant of the royal family of Madagascar, Andy Razaf's lyrics were certainly high class. He was involved with many of the biggest hit songs and shows in early American popular music, either as the lyricist or sometimes writing words and music.
Razaf wrote the lyrics for "Keep Shufflin," "Hot Chocolates" and "Blackbirds Of 1930." None of these shows would be cause for jubilation in the '90s, but they were major achievements in the '20s and '30s. He collaborated with Fats Waller on many epic hits, among them "Honeysuckle Rose," "Ain't Misbehavin," "How Can You Face Me" and "The Joint Is Jumpin." 
He also worked with Don Redman, Paul Denniker, James P. Johnson, Eubie Blake and William Weldon. Razaf wrote the big novelty smash "That's What I Like About The South," for Phil Harris. Razaf added lyrics to such instrumentals as "Reefer Man," "Knock Me A Kiss" and "Christopher Columbus," which Waller turned into a novelty hit. Razaf sometimes recorded as a singer using an alias.
He cut "Back In Your Own Backyard" and "Nobody Knows How Much I Love You" as Tommy Thompson with Waller on piano. A stroke kept Razaf an invalid much of his life. But his collaborations with Waller and others are available on many CD reissues.
~ Ron Wynn

"Cub" Teagarden, Drums

b. Vernon, TX, USA. d. 1969
né: Clois Lee Teagarden.
'Cub' was the youngest brother of the Teagarden family.


Notable Events Occurri

On This Date Include:

Eugene H. Farrar -singing
"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"
became the first singer to broadcast on radio.
(At a studio in New York city's Brooklyn Navy Yard.)

Tom Delaney, piano
died in Baltimore, MD, USA.
Age: 74.

Charles Pace, vocals
died in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Age: 77. 
Member: 'Pace Jubilee Singers'.

The Black Gospel Blog: Pace Jubilee Singers to be Inducted to the ...

Charles Edward Smith
producer, (for Folkways Records)
died in New York, NY, USA.

Age: 66.

Jenny Lou Carson
(née: Lucille Overstake)
C&W vocals/composer, died.
Age: 63.

Jenny Lou Carson - Wikipedia - Jenny Lou Carson
Jenny Lou Carson - Wikipedia

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra
  • Head Over Heels ("The Big Show" - "Head Over Heals")


Paul Biese and his Novelty Orchestra

Paul Biese and his Novelty OrchestraHarem Life

  • Oh! (Intro. Just Like A Rose)

Louisiana Five
  • Slow And Easy (Introducing "I'm Sorry I Ain't Got It You Could Have It If I Had It Blues")


Clara Smith

Ray Miller's Orchestra
  • Nobody Knows What A Red Head Mama Can Do

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
  • Gotta Getta Girl

Paul Whiteman and his OrchestraOh! Joseph!

    Harry Reser and his Orchestra
    • Doo Wacka Doo


    Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers
    Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot PeppersCannon Ball Blues

    Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot PeppersGrandpa's Spells

    Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot PeppersSomeday Sweetheart


      Wilton Crawley
      • Crawley Clarinet Moan
      • Lets Pretend To Be Sweethearts
      • Love Will Drive Me Crazy
      • She's Nothing But Nice

      McKenzie-Condon ChicagoansLiza

      McKenzie-Condon ChicagoansNobody's Sweetheart

        Ted Lewis and his BandAway Down South In Heaven

        Ted Lewis and his BandGoodnight


        Waring's PennsylvaniansAlma Mammy

        Harry Reser and his Orchestra
        • A Year From To-Day
        • If I'm Dreaming (Don't Wake Me Too Soon)
        • Sunny Side Up


          Isham Jones and his Orchestra


          Above Photo: Andy Razaf
          (What Did I Do To Be So) Black And Blue?
          ~Lyrics by Andy Razaf
          Music by Thomas "Fats" Waller and Harry Brooks

          Cold, empty bed,
          Springs hard as lead,
          Pains in my head,
          Feel like old Ned.
          What did I do
          To be so black and blue?

          No joys for me,
          No company,
          Even the mouse
          Ran from my house,
          All my life through
          I've been so
          Black and blue.

          I'm so forlorn,
          Life's just a thorn,
          My heart is torn,
          Why was I born?
          What did I do to be so
          Black and blue?

          I'm white inside,
          But that don't help my case.
          'Cause I can't hide
          What is on my face,

          [Alternative lyrics
          for the last verse]
          I'm sad inside,
          But it don't help my case
          'Cause I can't hide
          All the sorrow
          That's on my face.

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          And all who have provided 
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