Happy  Birthday  James  Reese  Europe !!


James Reese Europe
b. Mobile, AL, USA.
d. 1919, USA.

Prior to the 1917 World War, Jim Europe had been musically very active and had composed and played music for the famous dance team of Vernon and Irene Castle. The Castle's dancing was responsible for the worldwide dancing craze that is still with us today. (Before the Castles, public dancing was frowned upon as being indecent.)

During WW1, African American regiments were usually accompanied by bands, the most famous of which was the 369th Hellfighters Regiment Band, led by James Reece Europe.

The band was immensely popular in France, not just among American troops but also with the French public. It was this band that introduced many Europeans to jazz and ragtime rhythm. Vaudeville star Noble Sissle was a member of Europe's wartime band (and he remained with Europe's peacetime band too).

Europe was murdered soon after the war by a crazed band member, while Noble Sissle and his good friend Eubie Blake went on to make Jazz history by writing music, scoring Broadway shows and recording frequently.

Nacio Herb Brown, composer
b. Deming, NM, USA.

d. Sept. 28, 1964, San Francisco, CA, USA. (Cancer)
né: Ignacio Herb Brown Jr.
Wife: Actress Anita Page 1934-35.
~by Joslyn Layne

American pop composer Nacio Herb Brown wrote for movie musicals from the late '20s into the early '50s, including the earliest films with soundtracks. Born in New Mexico in 1896 and raised in Los Angeles, Brown learned to play piano at a young age and, after graduating from U.C.L.A., toured as an accompanist. After this, he set up a tailoring business and then ventured into real estate with much financial success. Brown worked at composing throughout the 1920s, with very few successes.

His first hit was "Coral Sea" (1920), with only a handful more until 1929 when, at the very beginning of "talkies" and soundtrack recording, Brown wrote hit songs for four different films. 
He became the top movie musical composer of this time, writing numerous hits over the next two decades, including "Singin' in the Rain" (1929), "Temptation" (1933), "All I Do Is Dream of You" (1934), "You Are My Lucky Star" (1935), "Good Morning" (1939), and "You Stepped Out of a Dream" (1941). 
Brown's chief collaborator was lyricist Arthur Freed, but he also worked with Buddy DeSylva, Gus Kahn, Gordon Clifford, and more.
Nacio Herb Brown

Napoleon "Snags" Allen, guitarist
b. Macon, GA, USA. d., USA.
~by Eugene Chadbourne

A Napoleon without a Waterloo? That would have to be Napoleon "Snags" Allen, a guitarist who seems to have never hit a bad chord. Praised for his superb rhythm, he was one of a handful of very early electric guitarists who influenced the entire course of jazz guitar. Then, as the New York City jazz scene began to wither away in the '50s and '60s, Allen established himself in the recording studios as one of the great session players. Allen was a Georgia boy and perhaps his family was uncomfortable with the intimidating nature of the name Napoleon, as he seems to have used the name Eugene Allen from time to time, although apparently never on recording credits. His music career is almost entirely associated with New York City, where he was an established local guitarist by the time Tiny Grimes showed up in the '30s.
While the name of Grimes, who claims to have picked up four-string guitar because he couldn't afford a full set of strings, is often mentioned as an early influence on jazz guitarists, in this case it was Allen who inspired Grimes, along with "the immortal Charlie Christian," as the cooking early electric jazz guitarist is identified in a biography of Grimes. However, jazz fans are well aware that Christian was not immortal. He crashed, burned, and died young, thus totally avoiding the problem of what to do when the national fanaticism for big band jazz and swing music was in the rearview mirror.
The business of assembling studio musicians to cut tunes for music publishers became the bread and butter for Allen and he imminently found himself suited for the demands of the job, such as impeccable timing and the quick study ability. His background in the musical sophistication of swing jazz, playing with artists as subtle as the great trumpeter Roy Eldridge, meant Allen would not be satisfied playing only blues or early rock music, although he did cut sides with artists as downhome as the intense country bluesman Louisiana Red.
Allen was drawn to soul music, both in its early incarnation as doo-wop and its later glory as manifested by both the Motown sound and the slightly harder-edged Atlantic funk of artists such as King Curtis. Working with producer, songwriter, and label manager Joe Davis, Allen paid his studio dues cutting sides with groups such as the excellent Chicago doo-wop outfit the Blenders. By the time Galt MacDermot, the composer of the score to Hair, became involved in the mid-'60s Manhattan studio scene, players such as Allen, drummer Bernard Purdie, and bassist Jimmy Lewis were legends, the abilities of their rhythm sections unmatched. MacDermot cut a self-released album of his own material, entitled Shapes of Rhythm; it is possibly the least-heard project Allen was ever involved with, as well as the most experimental. And it was most likely all in a day's work for Allen.
Napoleon "Snags" Allen

"Spade" Cooley
d. Nov. 23, 1969.
né: Donnell Clyde Cooley Donnell
Clyde 'Spade' Cooley was an American Western Swing musician, big band leader, actor, and television personality. His career ended when he was arrested and convicted for the murder of his second wife, Ella Mae Evans.

Henry "Bass" Edwards
Tuba/percussion/brass bass
b. Atlanta, GA, USA.
d. August 22, 1965, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
The man sometimes known as Bass Edwards provided plenty of that on either string bass, tuba or baritone horn--so obviously his nickname doesn't originate with the sportsman's favorite out-sized fish. Although he was active as a musician from the age of 14, his first credits as a jazz player weren't earned until the early '20s, when he began gigging with the fine bandleader Sam Wooding. Later in that decade he became associated with Duke Ellington, making the pile of his discography rise somewhat higher.
Edwards was always associated with several different kinds of music, however, putting in plenty of time with a range of both dance and classical orchestras until the time of his death. His background as a so-called legitimate orchestra player dates back to his early studies at both Morris Brown and Morehouse colleges in Atlanta, with his earliest performances taking place as part of the local Odd Fellows' Band. He was in Army bands during the first World War, including the famous 350th F.A. Band led by master musician Lt. J. Tim Brymn. Following the war to end all wars, Evans became known on the Philadelphia scene as a member of several concert and dance orchestras. Prior to linking up with Wooding in 1923, the bassist had been a member of the Charlie Taylor Orchestra for several years. He left Wooding for another Charlie, this time Charlie Johnson, with whom he worked until 1925 when Evans got into the Ellington rhythm section. In the spring of 1927, Evans' touring horizon widened considerably thanks to the adventurous Leon Abbey, who took him to South America for a series of engagements.
Following this, the bassist was back in New York with Allie Ross and played in the band for the hit show Blackbirds. Noble Sissle took Evans on in 1929, exporting him to Europe and featuring him on the brass bass, a stringed instrument which is just what it sounds like. At the end of the decade and into the early '30s, Evans was working with the real cream of the jazz and ragtime piano world, including Fats Waller, James P. Johnson and Eubie Blake. There were also further associations with Ross such as the Rhapsody in Black show. From 1933, Evans was a member of the Charlie Matson Orchestra, beginning the emphasis on orchestral work which continued through the balance of his career. Among the orchestras he was involved with included the New York Symphonic Band and the W.Y.N.C. Symphony Orchestra. He has sometimes been confused with another bassist and tuba player, Sumner "King" Edwards, to whom he is not related.
~ Eugene Chadbourne

Tom Rushen, songwriter
b. Tylertown, MS, USA
d. 1990, Cleveland, MS, USA.
Age: 92.

Joe Tarto, Tuba
~by Scott Yanow 
A collector's album in the 1980s humorously billed Joe Tarto as "Titan of the Tuba." Although Tarto was often the least-known musician on many of the recordings he appeared on in the 1920s, his fellow musicians certainly recognized his talents. Tarto played trombone when he was 12 but soon switched to tuba. He was in the Army during World War I (having given a false age), and played tuba in an Army band. After being wounded and recovering, he was discharged in 1919. 

Following a period working a day job, Tarto became a full-time musician in October 1920. He toured with Cliff Edwards, was with Paul Specht's Band (1922-1924), played with the orchestras of Sam Lanin and Vincent Lopez, worked in Broadway shows and arranged for Chick Webb and Fletcher Henderson. 

Tarto extensively recorded in the '20s (although never as a leader) including with Joe Venuti, Red Nichols, Miff Mole, the Dorsey Brothers, Bix Beiderbecke, Phil Napoleon, Eddie Lang, Ethel Waters, the Boswell Sisters, and Bing Crosby, among many others. After two years with Roger Wolfe Kahn's Orchestra, Tarto became a studio musician in the '30s, doubling on string bass and working with symphony orchestras, on radio and in the theaters. Joe Tarto occasionally played jazz in his later years (mostly Dixieland) and he led the New Jersey Dixieland Brass Quintet in the '70s and '80s.
Joe Tarto

Buddy Tate, Tenor Sax
b. Sherman, TX, USA.
d. Feb. 10, 2001, Chandler, AZ, USA. Age 88/89??.
by Scott Yanow

One of the more individual tenors to emerge from the swing era, the distinctive Buddy Tate came to fame as Herschel Evans' replacement with Count Basie's Orchestra. Earlier he had picked up valuable experience playing with Terrence Holder (1930-1933), Count Basie's original Kansas City band (1934), Andy Kirk (1934-1935), and Nat Towles (1935-1939).
With Basie a second time during 1939-1948, Tate held his own with such major tenors as Lester Young, Don Byas, Illinois Jacquet, Lucky Thompson, and Paul Gonsalves. After a period freelancing with the likes of Hot Lips Page, Lucky Millinder, and Jimmy Rushing (1950-1952), Tate led his own crowd-pleasing group for 21 years (1953-1974) at Harlem's Celebrity Club. During this period, Tate also took time out to record in a variety of setting (including with Buck Clayton and Milt Buckner) and he was the one of the stars of John Hammond's Spirituals to Swing concert of 1967.
Tate kept busy after the Celebrity Club association ended, recording frequently, co-leading a band with Paul Quinichette in 1975, playing and recording in Canada with Jay McShann and Jim Galloway, visiting Europe many times, and performing at jazz parties; he was also a favorite sideman of Benny Goodman's in the late '70s. Although age had taken its toll, in the mid-'90s Buddy Tate played and recorded with both Lionel Hampton and the Statesmen of Jazz. Tate lived in N.Y. until January, 2001, when he moved to Phoenix, AZ, to live with his daughter. Buddy Tate died a few weeks later, on February 10.

Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Violin/guitar
b. Muskogee, OK, USA.
d. April 25, 2004.
Bad luck caused fame to elude Claude "Fiddler" Williams, (Vocals, Violin, Guitar) until fairly late in his life. Very early on, he had played in the Oscar Pettiford family band, and then with Terrence Holder's territory band, remaining with them when the group metamorphosed into 'Andy Kirk's 12 Clouds of Joy'. Following this, he joined the Alphonso Trent band, and then Count Basie. Jazz critic John Hammond persuaded Basie to replace him and guitarist Freddie Green would hold the guitar chair for the next 50 years with Basie. Williams returned to Kansas City and to obscurity. He remained musically active and finally caught the public's attention, in 1972, through his association with Jay McShann. (Claude had worked with Roy Milton in the early '50s.) He began to tour and to record both as a sideman and as a leader. In 1994-'45 Williams played with the 'Statesmen of Jazz' and was still playing in his late 1980s.

Del Wood (C&W/honky tonk) piano
b. Nashville, TN, USA.
née: Polly Adelaide Hendricks. Del was one of the best female C&W musicians in the history of Country music, and one of the few to make it big playing the piano. Her best-known song is her novelty version of "Down Yonder," which hit both the country and Pop charts in 1951. Although she only had one hit, Wood recorded many albums during her long career.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Songwriter Bill Munro registers copyright of his song When My Baby Smiles At Me with the Harry Von Tilzer Music Publishing Company of New York City, USA. The song will become a jazz standard.

Luny Banstory, banjo
died in New York, NY, USA.
With 'Cookesy & Leecan'

Maurice Chevalier recorded "Walkin My Baby Back Home(Victor label). 21 years later, singers Nat "King" Cole and Johnny Ray both recorded he same tune, and it was a major hit for both artists.

"Little Mike" Mckendrick, guitar
died in Chicago, IL, USA.
Age: 64.
Dave Liggions, vocals
died in Dallas, TX, USA.
Age: 72.

Papa John Creach, violin
died in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra


Isham Jones and his Orchestra - Nobody's Sweetheart
  • Blue Evening Blues


Bailey's Lucky Seven

  • I'll See You In My Dreams
  • Won't You Come Back To My Arms?
  • The Only, Only One For Me


Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - Let's Do It

  • I'm Bringing a Red, Red Rose


Jabbo Smith's Rhythm Aces - Little Willie Blues
  • Sleepy Time Blues

Hal Swain's New Princes Orchestra - You're In My Heart [But Never In My Arms]

  • Laughing Marionette
  • Sonny Boy and Dakota

Earl Hines and his Orchestra - Chicago Rhythm


Ambrose And his Orchestra


Fats Waller - I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby - Vocal refrain by Fats Waller and Una Mae Carlisle

  • The Meanest Thing You Ever Did Was Kiss Me


Ted Weems and his Orchestra
  • A Gypsy Told Me - Vocal refrain by Perry Como
  • Goodnight, Sweet Dreams, Goodnight
  • Sissy
  • Sunday In The Park
  • Swingin' In The Corn
  • Three Shif'less Skunks


Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra
  • I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance
  • I Surrender, Dear
  • Jimtown Blues
  • No Retard
  • Not On The First Nite Baby
  • Semper Fidelis
  • The Laziest Gal In Town - Vocal by Freddie Gibson

Wearing Of The Green / Irish Washerwoman


Omer Simeon Trio - Creole Lullaby (Peephole Blues)


By The Sapphire Sea
~As preformed by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
~Composer(s): Harry B. Smith; Francis Wheeler; Ted Snyder

Somewhere over there by the Sapphire Sea
the whispering palm trees are calling me
to skies ever blue
there alone with you
is where I am longing to be
The world we'll forget and your lips and eyes
will show me the way to love's paradise
to that land of summertime far away
I'm going to take you someday

On that sunny island, the roses rare
are blooming to give us a welcome there
and we'll be alone, in a world our own
forgetting all trouble and care
We'll watch by the sea while the sails go by
till the stars shine above in the evening sky
you'll rest in my arms while the moon beams bright
and dream through the midsummer night

Merrily we'll sail upon the Sapphire Sea
to a little isle where happy we will be where moon beams bright
kiss you each night beside the silver waves we'll be together
While the stars are shining through the waving palms
sweetheart, I will hold you in my loving arms and life will seem
just like a dream, with you beside the Sapphire Sea

brought to you by... 


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.

No comments: