Thursday

DECEMBER 23RD


HAPPY BIRTHDAY FREDDY GARDNER


BIRTHDAYS 



1910
Freddy Gardner
Saxes/Clarinet
b. Kilburn, London, England, UK
d. July 26, 1950
Born in London in 1910, Freddy Gardner was one of England's most popular saxophonists during the 1930s and '40s. He developed his technique by working in bands led by Syd Lipton, Billy Bissett, and Bert Firman. A skilled clarinetist, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophonist, Gardner stayed busy as a sessionman throughout his all-too-brief career and may be heard on numerous recordings by the Four Stars, the Six Swingers, Jay Wilbur, Benny Carter, Teddy Foster, Valaida Snow, Ray Noble, Ike "Yowse Suh" Hatch, Mario "Harp" Lorenzi, and the internationally famous team of pianist Buck Washington and singing tap dancer John "Bubbles" Sublett.
A marvelous improviser comparable with Rudy Powell, Benny Carter, Alix Combelle, Russell Procope, Ken Mackintosh, or Willie Smith, Gardner performed regularly over the radio and from 1936 through 1939 recorded with his own small groups or his Swing Orchestra, a larger ensemble that included in its ranks trombonist and future bandleader Ted Heath. After serving in the Second World War he was featured as a soloist with Peter Yorke & His Concert Orchestra, and most certainly would have prospered as a name artist during the LP era had not fate intervened. Tragically felled by a stroke in 1950, Gardner passed away at the age of 49 on July 26, 1950. Originally released on the Interstate, Parlophone, and Rex labels, many of his recordings have now been pulled up out of the mothballs and reissued on compact disc.





1929
Chet Baker
Trumpet/Vocal
b. Yale, OK, USA
d. May 13, 1988, Amsterdam, Netherlands né: Chesney Henry Baker.

After playing in army bands he attracted attention during engagements with Charlie Parker and Gerry Mulligan in 1952 and 1953. His subdued tone and gentle phrasing made him the epitome of the cool jazz (see bebop) of the 1950s. With recordings such as "My Funny Valentine" he established his plaintive, fragile approach as a vocalist, which mirrored his trumpet style.  Much of his later career, interrupted several times by legal problems stemming from drug addiction, was spent in Europe.

*NOTE: Although Chet Baker is from a later period than the focus of this blog -I had to include him. I couldn't resist. 
1917
Eddie Finckel
pianist/composer
b. Washington, DC, USA
d. May 12, 2001.
As a youngster, he picked up the piano by listening to Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum solos, and by picking out his own compositions. In the 1940s, he worked as staff arranger for the Boyd Raeburn, Les Brown, and Gene Krupa bands. His composing skills became evident while working with drummer Buddy Rich, who was recorded playing such tunes as "Gypsy Mood," "Leave Us Leap," and "Starburst." In the 1950s, Finckel became the musical director of an art-based private school in Short Hills, NJ, holding the position for 40 years, until his passing at the age of 83.
1888
Mike Jackson 

piano/vocals

b. Louisville, KY, USA
d. 1945.



1908
(aka "Sonny Boy" Nelson, guitar)
b. Utica, MS, USA. 
*né: Eugene Powell.
Sonny Boy Nelson (December 23, 1908 – November 4, 1998) was an American blues musician.
~Biography

He was born Eugene Powell, in Utica, Mississippi, the child of an interracial affair and his white father soon abandoned the family. His family soon moved to a plantation at Lombardy, near Shelby, Mississippi. Nelson learned to play the guitar by the age of seven. Together with his half brother Ben on a mandolin, Nelson began to play as a novelty act at picnics and suppers, and for prisoners at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. In 1915, his half brother, Bennie "Sugar" Wilson, may have been the inspiration for Nelson to learn the banjo-mandolin. Nelson became friends with the Chatmon family (see Sam Chatmon), as both families worked together on the Kelly Drew Plantation in Hollandale, Mississippi.
He later married fellow singer, Mississippi Matilda.

Nelson played many musical instruments, including banjo, guitar, harmonica, horn, mandolin, violin, and played lead most of the time when accompanied with another musician. Nelson's guitar was a Silvertone and he inserted an aluminium resonator into it similar to those found on the National guitar. He also fitted a seventh string, using the 12 string models as his inspiration. The extra string was a 'C' an octave higher than the conventional string. Later electric styles overhadowed his fame, and he went on to live a quite life until his death.
Nelson died in November 1998, in Greenville, Mississippi, at the age of 89.
1906
Franz Waxman 
b. Konigshutte, Upper Silesia, Germany (now: Chorzow, Poland)
d. Feb, 24, 1967, Los Angeles, CA, USA. (cancer)
né: Franz Wachsmann. a.k.a. Franz Wachsmann
American composer and conductor. He studied in Berlin and played in cafés and a jazz orchestra; he was involved in supplying music for films but left in 1933, going to Paris and then to the USA. He worked at MGM and Warner Bros and wrote scores for over 140 films, and was also active as a conductor. Among the films for which he supplied music are Sunset Boulevard (1950), Peyton Place and The Spirit of St Louis (both1957); he also wrote two choral works (1959, 1965) of Jewish inspiration.
Franz Waxman
Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include: 



President Warren G. Harding's Innaugural
Address over NBC-dominated radio c. 1929.
1928. 
The National Broadcasting Company established a permanent coast-to-coast radio network. Only two years earlier, the General Electric, and Westinghouse corporations had formed a company called 'Radio Corporation of America' ('RCA') with David Sarnoff as its chief executive. The NBC Network was one of the RCA subsidiaries.



1938. 
The 'Spirituals to Swing' concert
was presented at New York's famed Carnegie Hall by music impresario John Hammond. Pianists Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, and Pete Johnson, vocalist Joe Turner, clarintetist Sidney Bechet, the Count Basie Orchestra, and blue singer Big Bill Broonzy, and gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, all appeared. THe show was credited with starting the "Boogie Woogie" craze.

From Spirituals to Swing - Wikipedia




1940. 
Billy Hill, songwriter
died in Boston, MA, USA.
Age: 41.

Songwriters Hall of Fame - Billy Hill Exhibit Home


1964. 
Jennie Mae Clayton, vocals
died in Memphis, TN, USA.
Age: 70.
Sang with the "Memphis Jug Band".


Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:




1921



Ray Miller's Black And White Melody Boys
  • “Dinny Danny”

1924



The Tennessee Tooters - “I Ain't Got Nobody To Love”



Ted Lewis and his Band - “I Like You Best Of All” - (Little / Sizemore / Shay)



Ted Weems and his Orchestra - “Blue-Eyed Sally” - (Al Bernard / Russell Robinson)



1926



Phil Napoleon
Phil Napoleon and his Orchestra


1927



The Broadway Bell-Hops
Harry Reser and his Orchestra - “I Scream - You Scream - We All Scream For Ice Cream” - (Tom Stacks vocal)

1929



Ted Lewis and his Band - “You've Got That Thing” - (from "Fifty Million Frenchmen") - (Cole Porter)


1930



Louis Armstrong and his Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra
Louis Armstrong and his Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra - “Sweethearts On Parade” - (Carmen Lombardo / Charles Newman)

Louis Armstrong and his Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra -“The Peanut Vendor” - (Moisés Simons)


Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys - “The Little Things In Life” - (Irving Berlin)


1944






Andrews Sisters - Shoo-Shoo Baby



Bing Crosby - White Christmas



LYRICS: 



Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella 

Just let a smile be your umbrella,
On a rainy, rainy day . . .
And if your sweetie cries, just tell her,
That a smile will always pay . . .

Whenever skies are gray,
Don’t you worry or fret,
A smile will bring the sunshine,
And you’ll never get wet!

So, let a smile be your umbrella,
On a rainy, rainy day . . .

Just let a smile be your umbrella,
On a rainy, rainy day . . .
And if your sweetie cries, just tell her,
That a smile will always pay . . .

Whenever skies are gray,
Don’t worry or fret,
A smile will bring the sunshine,
And you’ll never get wet!

So, let a smile be your umbrella,
On a rainy, rainy day . . .

Just let a smile be your umbrella,
On a rainy, rainy day . . .
On a rainy, rainy day . . .
On a rainy, rainy day . . . 




"Sweethearts On Parade" 
~ (C. Lombardo - C. Newman)


Two by two, they go marching through,
The sweethearts on parade
I can't help crying as they pass me by,
The sweethearts on parade
I'd love to join them but,
But they, they go by me,
Cause it takes more than one to join their, their army
How I pine just to fall in line
With the sweethearts on parade

I'd love to join them, but,
But they go by me
And it takes more than one to join their army
How I pine, I pine to fall in line,
With the sweethearts on parade
(With the sweethearts on parade)
With the sweethearts on parade 


TubaGirlFin 

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~confetta
Special Thanks To:
Scott Yanow, 
And all who have provided 
content for this site.