Bob Effros, Vincent Lopez & Band members playing for a bear !


Bob Effros
Born: December 6, 1900
Died: September 12, 1983
Biography by 
Barbara Effros, 1st Granddaughter
Robert "Bob" Effros was born December 6th, 1900 in London, England. At the age of three, his Russian Jewish immigrant family moved to Memphis, Tennessee.  Raised in the South strongly influenced the foundations of Jazz trumpet Bob played throughout his illustrious musical career. Bob ran away from home at age eleven and had a job as a “purser” on a Mississippi river boat.  Along the “Great Delta” he learned to play the coronet leading him to his true love; the trumpet. His course of trumpet playing began by following the leads of "King Oliver".  

Between 1917 and 1919, Bob served as a bugler in the United States Army. After the war ended, Bob settled down in Baltimore playing under big band leader, Bea Palmer. Throughout the 20's, Bob played the trumpet as a member of the Vincent Lopez Orchestra. The trumpeter flourished in this environment leading him to compose over a dozen hit songs such as: "Why The Twenties Roared", "Tin Ear" "Cornfed" and "Why Don't You Get Lost?"  Much of Bob's success can be attributed to his trumpet performances with many great band leaders such as:  Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Sam Lanin, Red Nichols, Harry Reser & Ben Selvin.

Bob Effros, Left, 1929.
Bob Effros’ sizzling, trumpet can be heard on over 125 recordings along with the hottest “jazz sideman”. A partial list include: Jimmy & Tommy Dorsey, Xavier Cugat, Al Jolson, Joe Venuti, Jimmy Durante, Wash Board Sam, W.C. Handy, Scrappy Lambert, Red Nichols & Fats Waller.   He is also known for being chosen by Paul Whiteman to fill in for the legendary trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke.
Jazz women singers such as Annette Hanshaw, Bessie Smith, The Boswell Sisters, Mae Questal, Fanny Brice and Ethel Waters  are just a few of the  powerful, enchanting vocalists whom Bob Effros enjoyed performing trumpet.

The Vincent Lopez Orchestra toured Europe extensively. The most infamous trip was in 1925, on the Ship Leviathan.  Effros, Cugat, Tarto and others had to smuggle their instruments on board per Lopez instructions.  The Orchestra toured for two months at the Kit Kat Club, Piccadilly Palace and other hot British Clubs.   He performed with Max Fleischer Orchestra for countless cartoons “Betty Boop”, Pop-Eye, and "Felix the Cat" (Mel Blanc Cartoons).  Vitaphone label hired Effros as a house musician where he joined a group of up-and-coming bandleaders including the sizzling banjo player, Harry Reser.. Bob performed and composed “Memr’y of This Dance” with great Bandleader/violinist, Ben Selvin.  Ben and Bob are known for their recorded humorous laughter and remained life, long friends.   

By 1929, Bob was leading his own orchestra and churning out hits such as "Sweet and Hot", an ode to Chinese soup. Bob was a staple in the radio studios through the 1930’s and 1940's with The Hit Parade, Camel Hour and Philco Radio Hours. He settled in and made a home in Queens, NY.  It was here that he met his wife, Selma Sternick. They had two sons, George and Alan Effros.   Bob Effros enjoyed weekends with his six grandchildren.  He lived a healthy, happy life and died in his sleep at age 83.  Music, family and friends made him one of the happiest people one could ever meet!
Bob Effros: Jazz Trumpeter
Bob Effros | Biography | AllMusic

Ira Gershwin, Lyricist
b. New York, NY, USA.
d. Aug., 17, 1983, Beverly Hills, CA, USA.
nee: Israel Gershovitz.
Ira Gershwin (December 6, 1896 – August 17, 1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. With George he wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows, featuring songs such as "I Got Rhythm", "Embraceable You", "The Man I Love" and "Someone to Watch Over Me", and the opera Porgy and Bess.

The success the brothers had with their collaborative works has often overshadowed the creative role that Ira played. However, his mastery of songwriting continued after the early death of George. He wrote additional hit songs with composers Jerome Kern ("Long Ago (and Far Away)"), Kurt Weill and Harold Arlen. His critically acclaimed book Lyrics on Several Occasions of 1959, an amalgam of autobiography and annotated anthology, is an important source for studying the art of the lyricist in the golden age of American popular song.


Gershwin was born Israel Gershowitz in New York City to Morris (Moishe) and Rose Gershovitz who changed the family name to Gershvin well before their children rose to fame (it was not spelled "Gershwin" until later). Shy in his youth, he spent much of his time at home reading, but from grammar school through college, he played a prominent part in several school newspapers and magazines. He graduated from Townsend Harris High School in 1914, where he met Yip Harburg. He attended the City College of New York but dropped out.
While his younger brother began composing and "plugging" in Tin Pan Alley from the age of eighteen, Ira worked as a cashier in his father's Turkish baths. It was not until 1921 that Ira became involved in the music business. Alex Aarons signed Ira to write the music for his next show, Two Little Girls in Blue (written under the pseudonym "Arthur Francis"), ultimately produced by Abraham Erlanger, with co-composers Vincent Youmans and Paul Lannin. Gershwin's lyrics were well received, and allowed him to successfully enter the theatre world with just one show.
It was not until 1924 that Ira and George Gershwin teamed up to write the music for their first Broadway hit Lady, Be Good!. Once the brothers joined together, their combined talents became one of the most influential forces in the history of American Musical Theatre. 

"When the Gershwins teamed up to write songs for Lady, Be Good, the American musical found its native idiom". Together, they wrote the music for more than twelve shows and four films. Some of their more famous works include "The Man I Love", "Fascinating Rhythm", "Someone to Watch Over Me", "I Got Rhythm", and "They Can't Take That Away from Me". Their partnership continued until George's sudden death from a brain tumor in 1937. Following his brother's death, Ira waited nearly three years before writing again.

After this interlude, he teamed up with such accomplished composers as Jerome Kern (Cover Girl); Kurt Weill (Where Do We Go from Here? and Lady in the Dark); and Harold Arlen (Life Begins at 8:40; A Star Is Born). Over the next fourteen years, Gershwin continued to write the lyrics for many film scores and a few Broadway shows. But the failure of Park Avenue in 1946, a "smart" show about divorce, co-written with composer Arthur Schwartz, was his farewell to Broadway. As he wrote at the time, "Am reading a couple of stories for possible musicalization (if there is such a word) but I hope I don't like them as I think I deserve a long rest."

In 1947, he took eleven songs George had written but never used, provided them with new lyrics, and incorporated them into the Betty Grable film The Shocking Miss Pilgrim and he later wrote comic lyrics for Billy Wilder's movie Kiss Me, Stupid--although most critics believe his final major work was for the 1954 Judy Garland film, A Star Is Born).
American singer, pianist, musical historian Michael Feinstein worked for Gershwin in the lyricist's latter years, helping him with his archive. Several lost musical treasures were unearthed during this period, and Feinstein performed some of the material.
Awards and honors
Three of Gershwin's songs ("They Can't Take That Away From Me" (1937), "Long Ago and Far Away" (1944) and "The Man That Got Away" (1954)) were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, though none won.
Gershwin, along with George S Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, was a recipient of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Of Thee I Sing.
The George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Musical Achievement Award was established in 1988 by UCLA to honor the brothers for their contribution to music and for their gift to UCLA of the fight song "Strike Up the Band for UCLA". Past winners have included Angela Lansbury (1988), Ray Charles (1991), Mel Tormé (1994), Bernadette Peters (1995), Frank Sinatra (2000), Stevie Wonder (2002), k.d. lang (2003), James Taylor (2004), Babyface (2005), Burt Bacharach (2006), Quincy Jones (2007), Lionel Richie (2008) and Julie Andrews (2009).

Ira Gershwin died in Beverly Hills, California, on August 17, 1983 at the age of 86. He is interred at Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

Billy Hall, trombone
b. London, England, UK
d. October 5, 1930, Hamburg, Germany.
Billy played with New Princes' Toronto Band, and others.

Armand Hug, Piano
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. 1977
A superior New Orleans-style pianist, Armand Hug tended to be underrated throughout his life, but his many recordings are still quite enjoyable. Hug spent much of his life in his native New Orleans, where he began playing in public in 1923. He joined Harry Shields' band in 1926, worked a bit with the New Orleans Owls in 1928, and made his recording debut with Sharkey Bonano in 1936. Hug primarily performed as a solo pianist, having long residencies at various clubs and also hosting his own series on local television. Armand Hug recorded as a leader for New Orleans Bandwagon, Capitol, Good Time Jazz, Circle, Paramount, Southland, and Golden Crest, along with three fine albums in the 1970s for Swaggie. 
~ Scott Yanow

Manuel Klein
b. London, England
d. June, 1, 1919, London, England

Joseph Lamb, Piano
b. Montclair, NJ, d. 1960
Joseph Francis Lamb (December 6, 1887 – September 3, 1960)
was a noted American composer of ragtime music. Lamb, of Irish descent, was the only non-African American of the "Big Three" composers of classical ragtime, the other two being Scott Joplin and James Scott.
Lamb was born in Montclair, New Jersey. The youngest of four children, he taught himself to play the piano, and was very taken with the early ragtime publications of Scott Joplin. He dropped out of St. Jerome's College in 1904 to work for a dry goods company. In 1907 Lamb was purchasing the latest Joplin and James Scott sheet music in the New York City offices of John Stark & Son when he met his idol Joplin. Joplin was favorably impressed with Lamb's compositions, and recommended him to classical ragtime publisher John Stark. Stark published Lamb's music for the next decade, starting with "Sensation".
In 1911, Lamb married Henrietta Schultz and moved to Brooklyn, New York. He worked as an arranger for the J. Fred Helf Music Publishing Company and later, starting in April 1914, as an accountant for L. F. Dommerich & Company. Henrietta died of influenza in 1920, about the same time that popular music interest shifted from ragtime to jazz. Lamb stopped publishing his music, playing and composing only as a hobby. "Bohemia Rag" was the last Lamb rag published before his death in 1960. That same year, his album, Joseph Lamb: A Study in Classic Ragtime, was released by Folkways Records.

With the revival of interest in ragtime in the 1950s, Lamb shared his memories of Joplin and other early ragtime figures with music historians. (Many were surprised to find that not only was he still living, but that he was white.) He also composed some new rags, brought out some of his old compositions that had never been published, and made some recordings.
Lamb died in Brooklyn of a heart attack at age 72.
"The Top Liner Rag", from 1916.

"Slats" Long, Clarinet
b. Wichita, KS.
Wichita, KS, may not be famous for the musicians who happened to be born there; to the general public, the obvious musical Wichita reference would be the "Wichita Lineman" mythologized by songwriter Jimmy Webb. Slats Long was a Wichita clarinetist, hinting that few in his hometown even knew about his musical accomplishments. Indeed, to Wichita's citizenry at large, Long was just a guy who had worked in the aircraft industry for more than two decades beginning in 1943, not a musician at all, and most likely answering to the name he was born with, Don Long. With a stage name that sounds like builder's shorthand, Long had among other accomplishments been part of innovative film composer Raymond Scott's laboratory of musical associates. He had also performed and recorded with superior traditional jazz talents including vibraphonist Red Norvo and trumpeter Bobby Hackett.
Long's shortish jazz career seems to start up in the late '20s when the clarinetist began gigging with Cass Hagan. From the mid-'30s he was in a group led by partners Ed Farley and Mike Riley. Long journeyed east, the obvious destination being New York City and opportunities with Norvo, Chauncey Morehouse, Vincent Lopez, and Bud Freeman. Hackett hired the clarinetist in late 1940; involvement with Scott began soon thereafter, the composer both familiar and impressed with Long's busy freelance recording schedule during the previous decade. Long left the music business in 1943, returning to Wichita. He died of a heart attack in 1964.
~ Eugene Chadbourne
Fulton McGrath, Piano
b. Superior, WI, d. 1958
Why an individual gets nicknamed "Fidgy" is an uncomfortable subject at best; when the guy's first name is Fulton, perhaps desperation enters into the picture. Fulton McGrath is one of the historic jazz artists who came in out of the fudgesicle-like tundra of the midwest kingdom of Wiscoldo; by the mid '40s, the later part of his career, he had left all such climates behind and was well established as part of the studio recording scene for film soundtracks in Hollywood. As such he fiogured into a small family dynasty getting studio calls; pianist McGrath was the father-in-law of Victor Feldman, another in-demand studio player who mastered an assortment of keyboard and percussion instruments. Speaking of offspring, McGrath as songwriter gave birth to "Mandy is Two", a bit of kitsch which only Billie Holiday could make sound convincing, as well as "Shim Sham Shimmy", a novelty jive number associated with the Dorsey Brothers and trumpeter Bunny Berigan.
McGrath's professional career began in the rhythm section of the Red Nichols band in the early '30s. He soon began playing with brothers Dorsey and got in on studio sessions for both recordings and radio broadcasts. Between 1935 and 1937 McGrath worked often in a studio orchestra under the direction of the talented Lennie Hayton. The following year the pianist was in bands led by both Berigan and Chauncey Morehouse; subsequent to that he stood solidly in the NBC house band before heading west circa 1943. Quite a bit of documentation exists of his work as a band pianist including sides with Nichols and the Dorsey Brothers as well as the fine swing violinist Joe Venuti. In most cases, reissue producers have chosen to identify him as Fulton McGrath, fudging on Fidgy.
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds

Bennie Krueger and his Orchestra
  • Linger Awhile

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
  • Arcady
  • I'm Sitting Pretty in a Pretty Little City


    The Cotton Pickers

    Bessie Smith Sing Sing Prison Blues


    Martha Copeland and her Smokey City Trio
    Wylie Avenue Blues  
    Martha Copeland and her Smokey City Trio - Everybody Does It Now

    • Tomorrow - Vocal refrain by Joe Cassidy

    Lonnie Johnson - The St. Louis Train Kept Passing By

    The Rhythmic Eight - Miss Annabelle Lee

    The California Ramblers - Make My Cot Where The Cot-Cot-Cotton Grows


    Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra
    Ted Lewis and his Band

    Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon accompanied by Punches Delegates Of Pleasure  - You Got To Wet It

      The Seven Gallon Jug Band - Wipe 'Em Off

      Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra

        Jelly Roll Morton's and his Orchestra - Deep Creek

        Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra - After You've Gone
        • Alone In The Rain - Vocal refrain J.L. Sanders 

        Sweepin' The Clouds Away - Vocal refrain by C.A. Coon and J.L. Sanders


          Hoagy Carmichael

          Star Dust


            Don Redman and his Orchestra - Down Home Rag 

            Miss Annabelle Lee
            w.m. Lew Pollack, Sidney Clare & Harry Richman 

            Who's wonderful, who's marvelous? 

            Miss Annabelle Lee 
            Who's kissable, who's lovable? 
            Miss Annabelle Lee 
            Ain't she pretty, baby? 
            What would you give? 
            Escortin' her, Supportin' her,  
            Don't forget that she's exclusive 
            Who's dignified, who's glorified? 
            Miss Annabelle Lee 
            What makes me fall? 
            She has it all, just look and you'll see 
            Say you ain't telling me a thing, boy, 
            I'm tellin' you 
            Who's wonderful, who's marvelous? 
            Miss Annabelle Lee

            ~Bessie Smith
            Porter Granger & Freddie Johnson

            Gonna journey up the Hudson, goin' on a lonesome trail, 

            Gonna journey up the Hudson, goin' on a lonesome trail, 
            They can put me in the debt house, or keep me in Sing Sing jail.  

            I wrote in, asked the warder, why they call the jail "Sing Sing", 

            I wrote in, asked the warder, why they call the jail "Sing Sing", 
            He said, "Stand here by this rock pile and listen to them hammering"  
            The jury's in the courthouse, papers sellin' for fifty cents, 
            The jury's in the courthouse, papers sellin' for fifty cents, 
            All the jury's tryin' to jail me, my lawyer pleadin' self defense.  

            The judge says, "Listen Bessie, tell me why you killed your man", 
            The judge says, "Listen Bessie, tell me why you killed your man", 
            I said, "Judge, you ain't no woman and you can't understand".  
            You can send me up the river, or send me to that mean old jail, 
            You can send me up the river, or send me to that mean old jail, 
            I killed my man and I don't need no bail

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