James P. Johnson, Piano
b. New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
d. Nov. 17, 1955, New York, NY, USA.
One of the great jazz pianists of all time, James P. Johnson was the king of stride pianists in the 1920s. He began working in New York clubs as early as 1913 and was quickly recognized as the pacesetter. In 1917 Johnson began making piano rolls. Duke Ellington learned from these (by slowing them down to half-speed) and a few years later Johnson became Fats Waller's teacher and inspiration.
During the 1920s (starting in 1921), James P. Johnson began to record, he was the nightly star at Harlem rent parties (accompanied by Waller and Willie "The Lion" Smith) and he wrote some of his most famous compositions.
For the 1923 Broadway show Running Wild (one of his dozen scores), James P. composed "The Charleston" and "Old Fashioned Love," his earlier piano feature "Carolina Shout" became the test piece for other pianists and some of his other songs included "If I Could Be with You One Hour Tonight" and "A Porter's Love Song to a Chambermaid."
Ironically James P. Johnson, the most sophisticated pianist of the 1920s, was also an expert accompanist for blues singers and he starred on several memorable Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters recordings. In addition to his solo recordings, Johnson led some hot combos on records and guested with Perry Bradford and Clarence Williams; he also shared the spotlight with Fats Waller on a few occasions.

Because he was very interested in writing longer works, Johnson (who had composed "Yamekraw" in 1927) spent much of the 1930s working on such pieces as "Harlem Symphony," "Symphony in Brown" and a blues opera. Unfortunately much of this music has been lost through the years. Johnson, who was only semiactive as a pianist throughout much of the 1930s, started recording again in 1939, often sat in with Eddie Condon and was active in the 1940s despite some minor strokes. A major stroke in 1955 finished off his career. Most of his recordings have been reissued on CD.
~ Scott Yanow

Mary Jane DeZurik, C&W vocals
b. Royalton, MN, USA.
Member: the "DeZurik Sisters," and the "Cackle Sisters"
Member group: "DeZurik Sisters" (aka: the "Cackle Sisters") consisted of Carolyn DeZurick (Singer/Guitar, b. Dec. 24, 1919 Royalton, Minnesota), Mary Jane DeZurick (Singer, b. Feb. 1, 1917 Royalton, Minnesota), Eva DeZurick (Singer, b. Royalton, Minnesota) and Lorraine DeZurick (Singer, b. Royalton, Minnesota). The DeZurik Sisters were the first women to become stars on both the National Barn Dance and the Grand Ole Opry, largely a result of their original yodeling style.
Born and raised on a farm in Royalton, Minnesota, Mary Jane (1917-1981) and Carolyn Dezurik (b. 1918) were part of a family of seven. Their father Joe played fiddle, their sisters sang, and their brother Jerry played accordion and guitar. Inspired by their family and the sounds of the animals and birds around them, they developed an astonishing repertoire of high, haunting yodels and yips that soon had them winning talent contests all over central Minnesota. In 1936, they signed a contract to appear regularly on Chicago radio station WLS (AM)'s National Barn Dance, and were hired in 1937 to perform on Purina Mills' Checkerboard Time radio show, where they sang as The Cackle Sisters.
In 1938, the sisters recorded six songs for Vocalion Records: "I Left Her Standing There" (Vocalion 4616-A), "Arizona Yodeler" (Vocalion 4616-B), "Sweet Hawaiian Chimes" (Vocalion 4704-A), "Guitar Blues" (Vocalion 4704-B), "Go To Sleep My Darling Baby" (Vocalion 4781-A) and "Birmingham Jail" (Vocalion 4781-B). Those six songs were the only tracks the duo would ever commit to vinyl, although some recordings exist of their appearances on Checkerboard Time.
Both sisters married musicians they had met at WLS—Carolyn accepting a proposal from Ralph "Rusty" Gill, a singer and guitar player, on September 1, 1940, and Mary Jane saying yes to Augie Klein, an accordionist, before the month was out. In 1943, Rusty and Augie were drafted into World War II and Mary Jane had taken what proved to be a short-lived retirement to look after her new family. Carolyn joined Sonja Henie's Ice Review for a year or so, afterwards returning to Minnesota for a series of appearances on radio station KSTP (AM). Mary Jane rejoined her sister in 1944, doing road dates with Purina and regular shows at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.
Rusty was discharged from Army in 1946 and returned to WLS with his old band, The Prairie Ramblers. Mary Jane retired for good the next year so Carolyn recruited their sister Lorraine, and the new DeZurik Sisters returned to WLS in Chicago as well. By 1951, after a stint at Cincinnati's WLW, Lorraine had retired and Carolyn had joined the Ramblers as their new female vocalist, filling a decade-long vacancy created by the absence of legendary trick yodeller Patsy Montana. Carolyn and Rusty moved back to Chicago, where they began appearing with the Ramblers on the daily variety show Chicago Parade, airing on WBKB-TV (now WBBM-TV and WLS-TV).
Lorraine lives in Washington state with her husband. Carolyn and Rusty still live in the Chicago area. Years after the height of their fame, Carolyn recalled that the DeZurik Sisters achieved their sound simply because she and Mary Jane "listened to the birds and tried to sing with the birds."
External links:

"Hildegard", vocals
b: Adell, WI, USA
d. July 29 2005.
née: Hildegarde Loretta Sell.
Her tag: "The Incomparable Hildegarde".
Her merchant father played violin and drums, and her mother was a church organist. Hildegarde grew up in Milwaukee, WI, (where she attended St. John's Cathedral High School), and was a classically trained pianist. While still in school, she began playing piano in the local silent movie theaters to earn extra money, and in 1926 she got up the courage to go backstage at a vaudeville show called "Gerri and her Baby Grand" and ask for audition. She auditioned by singing "Am I Blue", and playing "12th Street Rag" --which remained in Hildegarde's act thereafter. She got the job.

Circumstances prevented her from completing her music studies at Marquette University's School of Music, and she subsequently found work on the Vaudeville circuit. Famed Vaudevillian Gus Edwards put her in one of his touring shows. Composer Irving Berlin heard her in his publishing house, singing songs for vaudeville producers in need of new material, and introduced her to New York City society. Eventually, she toured to Paris France where she gave her first Command Performance for King Gustav of Sweden, -in a Parisian club, the 'Casanova'. She went on to appear in many famous rooms in London, Cannes, Brussels and at private concerts.
In 1934, Hildegarde had her first hit, "Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup". The song was composed by her manager, Ana Sosenko, as she rode her bicycle through a WWI cemetery in Touquet, France. Later, Hildegarde had a hit with "The Last Time I Saw Paris." In the late 1940's and through the 1950's, Hildegarde was perhaps the quintessential American dinner and supper club entertainer. New York was her homebase. Her personal signatures included long white gloves that came almost up to her shoulders, an upswept coiffure, and holding a long stemmed rose. At age 99, Hildegarde died. She was a religious woman, and a 3rd order Carmelite nun.
Hildegarde - Wikipedia
The Incomparable Hildegarde
Hildegarde: 'Incomparable' Queen of the Cabaret : NPR
Herman Hupfeld, composer
b. Montclair, NJ, USA.
d. June 8, 1951, Montclair, NJ, USA.
Herman Hupfeld (February 1, 1894 – June 8, 1951) was an American songwriter. His most notable composition was "As Time Goes By" (from the film Casablanca, though originally written in 1931 for the Broadway show Everybody's Welcome, which ran for 139 performances). Hupfeld never wrote a whole Broadway score, but he became known as a composer who could write a song to fit a specific scene within a Broadway show.
His best known songs include "Sing Something Simple", "Let's Put Out The Lights (And Go To Sleep)", "When Yuba Plays The Rhumba On The Tuba", "Are You Making Any Money?", "Savage Serenade", "Down the Old Back Road", "A Hut in Hoboken", "Night Owl", "Honey Ma Love", "Baby's Blue", "Untitled" and "The Calinda".
While not known as a public performer, Hupfeld was featured on a Victor Young & His Orchestra 78rpm recorded on January 22, 1932. He sang and played piano on two of his compositions; "Goopy Geer (He Plays Piano and He Plays by Ear)" and "Down The Old Back Road". According to Roger D. Kinkle in his excellent "The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz 1900-1950" (Arlington House, 1974), Hupfeld studied violin in Germany at 9. He was in the Military during World War I, and he entertained camps and hospitals during World War II. Hupfeld never married and with few exceptions, stayed in his home town of Monclair, NJ for his entire life. Hupfeld was buried at Mount Hebron Cemetery, in Montclair, New Jersey.

Joe "Tricky Sam", Nanton, Trombone
b. New York, NY, USA. d. July 20, 1946,
né: Joseph N. Nanton.
Best recalled for his work with Duke Ellington Orch.
One of the most colorful trombonists of all time, Tricky Sam Nanton's expertise with the plunger mute (emitting a large assortment of growls and colorful tones) was a major part of Duke Ellington's original sound and has rarely been duplicated since (although Quentin Jackson sometimes came close). He gained early experience playing with bands led by Cliff Jackson and Elmer Snowden, and recorded with Thomas Morris, but after mid-1926 Nanton was only heard with Duke Ellington's orchestra and small groups; he never led a record date of his own.
Nanton made for a perfect team with trumpeter Bubber Miley and, when Miley was replaced by Cootie Williams in 1929, Nanton helped to inspire the younger trumpeter to build on Miley's role. He was well featured on many classic recordings (including "East St. Louis Toodle-oo" and "Black and Tan Fantasy") and was a major attraction with Ellington up until his premature death in 1946. 
~ Scott Yanow
Tricky Sam Nanton at All About Jazz
Blue Ribbon - Tricky Sam Nanton

Phyllis Robins
Birth Name: Phyllis Ann Robinson
Born February 1, 1910 , Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, UK
Died March 16, 1982, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Phyllis Robins was born on February 1, 1910 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England as Phyllis Ann Robinson. She was an actress, known for Murder at the Cabaret (1936), I Became a Criminal (1947) and Pennies from Heaven (1981). She died on March 16, 1982 in Buckinghamshire, England.

Phyllis Robins-01-20

Phyllis Robins on Pinterest

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded "And the Angels Sing", (Victor). 
Vocalist: Martha Tilton.

"Downbeat" magazine reported Glenn Miller had signed a three-year contract with RCA Victor Records, guaranteeing him $750 a side, the fattest record contract ever signed.

Johnny "Mississippi" Woods, harmonica
died in Olive Branch, MS, USA.
Age: 72. ←

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - Do You Ever Think of Me? (introducing "Somebody's Waiting")


Benson Orchestra of Chicago - Angel Child

Bailey's Lucky Seven
  • My Mammy Knows
  • On the 'Gin 'Gin 'Ginny Shore


The Virginians - Aunt Hagar's Blues

Harry Reser - Sugar Blues - w/ Frank Banta at the piano)


Naylor's Seven Aces

  • High Society

Naylor's Seven Aces - Oh, Johnny! Please Don't - Mom-Ma!

Viola McCoy
  • Do Right Blues

The California Ramblers - Take a Little One-Step


Whitey Kaufman's Original 
Pennsylvania Serenaders


Jean Goldkette and his Orchestra - Look At the World and Smile


Tiny Parham and his Musicians - Blue Island Blues

Ray Miller and his Hotel Gibson Orchestra - Is She My Girl Friend?
Ray Miller and his Hotel Gibson Orchestra - I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate

Ray Miller and his Hotel Gibson Orchestra - My Honey's Lovin' Arms

Leroy Tibbs and his Connie's Inn Orchestra - I Got Worry

Memphis Jug Band - Evergreen Money Blues

Memphis Jug Band - Snitchin' Gambler Blues

Warren Mills and his Blue Serenaders - Gems from "Blackbirds of 1928" I Can't Give You Anything But Love - Dig A Dig A Do - I Must Have That Man - Magnolia's Wedding Day - I Can't Give You Anything But Love

Red Nichols' Five Pennies
  • I Never Knew
  • Who's Sorry Now?


King Oliver's Orchestra - Call Of The Freaks

King Oliver's Orchestra - The Trumpets Prayer

Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra - Bessie Couldn't Help It

Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra - Blue Turning Grey Over You

Isham Jones and his Orchestra
  • Nina Rosa


Ted Lewis and his Band


Vic Berton and his Orchestra - A Smile Will Go A Long, Long Way
  • Dardanella
  • Jealous


Jabbo Smith and his Orchestra - Absolutely


Rosetta Crawford accompanied 
by James P. Johnson's Hep Cats
  • Double Crossin' Papa
  • I'm Tired Of Fattenin' Frogs For Snakes
  • My Man Jumped Salty On Me
  • Stop It Joe


The Charleston - 1923
~Music by James P Johnson
~Lyrics by Cecil Mack (R.C. McPherson)
This song was introduced to America by Elizabeth Welch in the all-Black musical, Runnin' Wild. James P. Johnson's music for the song is said to be inspired by the music brought to New York by South Carolina dockworkers that Johnson played for almost ten years before. 
Cecil Mack's lyrics are seldom heard though Mack was an accomplished lyricist who had been involved with the first Black owned music publishing company, Gotham Attucks, at the beginning of the 20th Century. The Charleston dance changed America in many ways and became the anthem of the Jazz Age.


Don't stop (don't stop, don't stop, don't stop)

Jumping locomotion, energetic potion
Feel your body keepin' time
Pulsing beat into your mind

Automatic action, systematic passion
Daylight stepping in the night
Colors change to black and white

(Lover, don't waste your time)
('cause you can make a move)
(Brother, you'll blow your mind)
(If you get in the groove)
(Don't stop)

Don't stop, hungry dancer
Come and do the Charleston
Modern day romancer
Get back to the Charleston

Don't stop, hungry dancer
Come and do the Charleston
Modern day romancer
Get back to the Charleston

(Don't stop, don't stop, don't stop)

Dance until the morning
See your partner glowing
Back and forth you move your feet
Steaming hot, you feel the heat

Step back in the old days
Loving with new ways
See, you must have a good time
Happiness is in a climb

(Music, it seems to change)
(But people are the same)
(Choose it, what you prefer)
(But dancing will remain)
(Don't stop)

Don't stop, hungry dancer
Come and do the Charleston
Modern day romancer
Get back to the Charleston

Don't stop, hungry dancer
Come and do the Charleston
Modern day romancer
Get back to the Charleston

Don't stop, hungry dancer
Come and do the Charleston
Modern day romancer
Get back to the Charleston

Don't stop, hungry dancer
Come and do the Charleston
Modern day romancer
Get back to the Charleston

(Don't stop, don't stop, don't stop)
(Don't stop, don't stop, don't stop)
(Don't stop, don't stop, don't stop)

Charleston (song)

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Special Thanks To:
The Red Hot Jazz Archives,
The Big Band Database, Scott Yanow,

and all those who have provided content,
images and sound files for this site.

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