Happy Birthday  Jessie Matthews !!


Jessie Matthews
British actress/singer
b: Great Britain
Jessie Matthews, OBE (11 March 1907 – 19 August 1981) was an English actress, dancer and singer of the 1930s, whose career continued into the post-war period.

Early life

Jessie Margaret Matthews was born in Soho, London, in relative poverty, the seventh of sixteen children (of whom eleven survived) of a fruit-and-vegetable seller.

She debuted on stage on 29 December 1919, aged 12, in Bluebell in Fairyland, by Seymour Hicks, music by Walter Slaughter and lyrics by Charles Taylor, at the Metropolitan Music Hall, Edgware Road, London, as a child dancer; she made her film debut in 1923 in the silent film The Beloved Vagabond.


Matthews was in the chorus in Charlot Review in London. She went with the show to New York, where she was also understudy to the star, Gertrude Lawrence. When Lawrence fell ill, she took over the role and was given great reviews. Matthews was acclaimed in the United Kingdom as a dancer and as the first performer of numerous popular songs of the 1920s and 1930s, including "A Room with a View" and London Calling! by Noël Coward and "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" by Cole Porter. After a string of hit stage musicals and films in the mid-1930s, Matthews developed a following in the USA, where she was dubbed "The Dancing Divinity". Her British studio was reluctant to let go of its biggest name, which resulted in offers for her to work in Hollywood being repeatedly rejected.
Matthews' fame reached its initial height with her lead role the 1932 stage production of Ever Green, a musical by Rodgers and Hart that was partly inspired by the life of music hall star Marie Lloyd, and her daughter's tribute act resurrection of her mother's acclaimed Edwardian stage show as Marie Lloyd Junior. At its time Ever Green was the most expensive musical ever mounted on a London stage.
The 1934 cinematic adaptation (Evergreen) featured the newly composed song Over My Shoulder which was to go on to become Matthews' personal theme song, later giving its title to her autobiography and to a 21st-century musical stage show of her life.

Her distinctive warbling voice and round cheeks made her a familiar and much-loved personality to British theatre and film audiences at the beginning of World War II, but her popularity waned in the 1940s after several years' absence from the screen followed by an unsatisfactory thriller, "Candles at Nine".
Post-war audiences associated her with a world of hectic pre-war luxury that was now seen as obsolete in austerity-era Britain. After a few false starts as a straight actress she played Tom Thumb's mother in the 1958 children's film, and during the 1960s found new fame when she took over the leading role of Mary Dale in the BBC's long-running daily radio soap, 'The Dales', formerly 'Mrs Dale's Diary'.
Live theatre and variety shows remained the mainstay of Matthews' work through the 1950s and 1960s, with successful tours of Australia and South Africa interspersed with periods of less glamorous but welcome work in British provincial theatre and pantomimes. She became a stalwart nostalgia feature of TV variety shows such as The Night Of A Thousand Stars and The Good Old Days. Jessie Matthews was awarded an OBE in 1970 and continued to make cabaret and occasional film and television appearances through the decade including one-off guest roles in the popular BBC series Angels and an episode of the ITV mystery anthology Tales of the Unexpected. She took her one-woman stage show to Los Angeles in 1979 and won the United States Drama Logue Award for the year's best performance in concert.
In 1926 she married the first of her three husbands, actor Henry Lytton, Jr., the son of singer and actress Louie Henri and Sir Henry Lytton the doyen of the Savoy Theatre. They divorced in 1929. The second and longest marriage was to actor-director Sonnie Hale; the third to military officer, Lt. Brian Lewis). All of her marriages ended in divorce and were marred by affairs and a series of unsuccessful pregnancies. With Hale she had one adopted daughter, Catherine Hale-Monro, who married Count Donald Grixoni on 15 November 1958; they eventually divorced but she remained known as Catherine, Countess Grixoni.

Matthews had several romantic relationships conducted in the public eye, often courting controversy in the newspapers. The most notorious was her relationship with the married Sonnie Hale. A high-court judge denounced her as an "odious" individual when her love letters to Hale were used as evidence in the case of his divorce from his wife, actress/singer Evelyn 'Boo' Laye. It took some time for Matthews' popularity to recover from this scandal. "If I ceased to be a star", she wrote in a piece for Picturegoer in 1934, "all that interest in my home life would evaporate, I believe. Perhaps it is the price one has to pay for being a star".
She had suffered from periods of ill-health throughout her life and eventually died of cancer, aged 74.
External links
Amede Ardoin
b. L'Anse des Rougeau, Louisiana, USA
d. Nov. 9, 1941
Amédé Ardoin (March 11, 1898 – November 4, 1941) was a Louisiana Creole musician, known for his high singing voice and virtuosity on the Cajun accordion. He is credited by Louisiana music scholars with laying the groundwork for Cajun music in the early 20th century.
Ardoin, with fiddle player Dennis McGee, was one of the first artists to record the music of the Acadiana region of Louisiana. On December 9, 1929, he and McGee recorded six songs for Columbia Records in New Orleans. In all, thirty-four recordings with Ardoin playing accordion are known to exist.
The date and place of his death is uncertain. Descendants of family members and musicians who knew Amédé tell a story, now well-known, about a racially motivated attack on Amédé in which he was severely beaten, probably between 1939 – 40, while walking home after playing at a house dance near Eunice, Louisiana. The most common story says that some white men were angered when a white woman, daughter of the house, lent her handkerchief to Amédé to wipe the sweat from his face.
Canray Fontenot and Wade Fruge, in PBS's "American Patchwork", explain that after Amédé left the place, he was run over by a Model A car and crushed his head and throat, damaging his vocal cords. He was found the next day, lying in a ditch. According to Canray, he "went plumb crazy" and "didn't know if he was hungry or not. Others had to feed him. He got weaker and weaker until he died." Others consider the story apocryphal. Other versions say that Amédé was poisoned, not beaten, possibly by a jealous fellow musician.

Contemporaries said that Amédé suffered from impaired mental and musical capacities later in his life probably from that infamous night. He ended up in an asylum in Pineville, Louisiana. Author Michael Tisserand in his book The Kingdom of Zydeco concludes that Amédé probably died in the asylum, though no definitive record of his death exists.
Mercer Ellington
b. Washington, D.C.
d. Feb. 8, 1996.
Age 76.
Mercer Ellington had the impossible task of trying to escape from his father Duke Ellington's shadow and he never really succeeded, perhaps not trying hard enough. He studied music early on and made several attempts to lead his own band (1939, 1946-1949, and 1959) that were all ultimately unsuccessful. 
During the ASCAP strike of the early '40s when Duke was desperate for new material, Mercer wrote several notable songs, including "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," "Jumpin' Punkins," "Moon Mist," and "Blue Serge," but nothing he composed since then approached their stature. Among his many other jobs was working as road manager for Cootie Williams' Orchestra, musical director for Della Reese, a salesman, a record company executive, and a disc jockey. 
Finally in 1965, he gave up trying to be independent and became Duke Ellington's road manager and a non-soloing section trumpeter. After Duke's death in 1974, Mercer took over the band but within a couple years it had greatly declined. Mercer wrote a biography in 1978 (Duke Ellington in Person), directed the so-so musical Sophisticated Ladies (1981-1983), supervised the release of many previously unavailable Ellington recordings and led the inaccurately titled Duke Ellington Orchestra on an occasional basis, recording a few dates that often had all-stars as ringers.
~ Scott Yanow

Vince Giordano
Arranger/Bass Saxophone
b. Brooklyn, NY      

Vince Giordano (March 11, 1952) is a musician, arranger, and leader of the New York-based Nighthawks Orchestra. Giordano specializes in the jazz styles of the 1920s and early 1930s. Giordano and the Nighthawks have contributed to a number of films and he is especially noted for orchestrations featured in the movies of Woody Allen. Giordano plays many instruments himself. They include the bass saxophone, which anchors the Nighthawks' rhythm section on many hot jazz arrangements.
Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, bandleader Vince Giordano began his odyssey into the world of music at the age of five. The discovery of a slew of 78 rpm records in his grandmother’s attic ignited the flame. He began music on the violin but switched to tuba in the 7th grade, then added the string bass and bass saxophone. The ambitious Giordano joined the musicians union at age 14 and started playing with Dixieland banjo bands around Long Island. He became interested in the music of Bix Beiderbecke and studied with Bill Challis, the legendary arranger for the Paul Whiteman and Jean Goldkette Orchestras. Vince joined the 22-piece Navy Show Band after high school. Then toured Europe with Eddie Davis, played in New York with Tony Parenti and Max Kaminsky, and toured with Clyde McCoy.

In 1976 Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks (originally known as the New Orleans Nighthawks) was formed. His dynamic band has been booked for black tie galas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Waldorf Astoria, the Rainbow Room and many private parties. Vince has also performed at the Smithsonian, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Jazz Festivals around the world.  Early appearances with Leon Redbone and A Prairie Home Companion and lending his talents to Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Cotton Club, led to working with Dick Hyman’s Orchestra in half a dozen Woody Allen soundtracks, then as a bass player in Sean Penn’s band in Woody’s Sweet And Lowdown. He and band were featured in Gus Van Sant’s film Finding Forrester; in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator; Robert DeNiro’s film, The Good Shepherd; Tamara Jenkins’ film, The Savages, Sam Mendes’ films Revolutionary Road and Away We Go along with Michael Mann’s film Public Enemies.

Most recently Vince and the band have been performing and recording music for Martin Scorsese’s award-winning HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Other recording projects include soundtracks for HBO’s – Grey Gardens and Todd Haynes’ HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce.  Currently, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks can be heard every Monday and Tuesday evenings at Sofia’s Restaurant (downstairs) at 221 W. 46th Street in NYC.
Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks won an Grammy for their work on the Series "Boardwalk Empire"... 
Vince Giordano
Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks FaceBook Page
Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks - 1920s and 1930s Jazz and Pop music

Carlo Krahmer
Drums' label owner (Esquire)
b. London, England
d. April 20, 1976.
Carlo Krahmer was born in Shoreditch, London in 1914 and from an early age was 'drum crazy' spending his pocket money on drums and records and he was gigging at thirteen years of age. By 1938 he was playing with Claude Bampton's Orchestra, sponsored by The National Institute for the Blind, at the Cambridge Theatre on the same bill as Quintette of the Hot Club of France. He was active in the recording studios from this time.
In 1940 he led a quartet at the Cotton Club in London before joining Johnny Claes in 1941 for nearly two years. He then worked with many bands including Lew Stone (1941) but also ran his own groups at a number of London clubs. By 1943 he was playing in various small groups all over London including running the band at the Feldman Club from 1943 until 1950. From 1944 he also led the band at the Nuthouse Club in Regent Street.
Krahmer gave up full time playing in 1947 when, with Peter Newbrook, he founded the Esquire record company, but he played on some of the first British bebop records with Ronnie Scott in 1948. He died in 1976.
Charley Lincoln
(Blues) vocals, guitar
b. Lithonia, GA, USA
d. Sept. 28, 1963, Cairo, GA, USA.
né: Charlie Hicks.
AKA: Charlie Lincoln.
Aliases and psudeoynms aside, Charlie Hicks AKA Charley or Charlie Lincoln was an above-average country blues vocalist. He teamed often with either his brother Robert Hicks AKA Barbecue Bob or with Peg-Leg Howell. His guitar voicings and style were influenced by Curley Weaver, but Hicks was a colorful singer and flashy player. Weaver's mother Savannah taught Lincoln the guitar as a teenager. Lincoln recorded with his brother for Columbia from 1927-1930; he continued playing with him into the '50s, though his performance and playing schedule was highly irregular. A murder conviction ended his career in 1955; he was in prison until his death in 1963.
~ Ron Wynn

Charlie Miller, Trombone
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.

"Miff" Mole, Trombone
b. Roosevelt, NY, USA.
d. April 29, 1961.
~Scott Yanow
For a period in the 1920s, Miff Mole was (prior to the emergence of Jack Teagarden) the most advanced trombonist in jazz. He had gained a strong reputation playing with the Original Memphis Five (starting in 1922) and his many recordings with Red Nichols during 1926-1927 found him taking unusual interval jumps with staccato phrasing that perfectly fit Nichols' style. However, in 1927, he started working as a studio musician and Mole concentrated less on jazz during the next couple of decades.
WATCH! Miff Mole on YouTube
He played with Paul Whiteman during 1938-1940 and was with Benny Goodman in 1943. By the time he returned to small-group jazz in the mid-'40s (working with Eddie Condon and leading a band at Nick's), Mole sounded like a disciple of Teagarden and his style was no longer unique, although his record of "Peg of My Heart" was popular. Miff Mole's health was erratic by the 1950s and he was largely forgotten by the greater jazz world by the time he died in 1961. His best recordings as a leader were when he led his Molers during 1927-1930, although there was a four-song session in 1937 and later albums released by Jazzology, Commodore, Storyville, and Argo.
External links
Chauncey Morehouse, Drums
b. Niagara Falls, NY, USA.
d. 1980.
Because practically all of his most significant jazz work was created in the 1920s, it is surprising to realize that Chauncey Morehouse was active as a drummer into the early 1970s. He grew up in Chambersburg, PA, and began playing drums early on; he also worked with his school orchestra and with his father, who played piano for silent films. Morehouse, who led the Versatile Five while in high school in 1919, picked up important experience playing with Paul Specht from 1922-24, making recordings and visiting London with Specht in 1923. One of the most technically skilled drummers of the 1920s, Morehouse was a member of Jean Goldkette's Orchestra from 1925-27, was with the short-lived and legendary Adrian Rollini band in 1927 (with Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer) and played regularly with Don Voorhees from 1928-29. During the 1925-29 period,
Morehouse appeared on many jazz records including with Goldkette, Trumbauer, Bix and his Gang, Red Nichols, the Dorsey Brothers and Joe Venuti, among others. In 1929 he became a studio percussionist and during the next 40 years he worked primarily in the studios, on radio and later in television. He gradually modernized his style and led an unusual band in 1938 in which he played chromatically tuned percussion that he had designed; Stan King helped him out on drums. But Morehouse mostly was outside of jazz until the 1970s, when he retired from the studios and occasionally appeared at jazz festivals. By then, he had been long forgotten in the jazz world by all but 1920s collectors. As a leader, Morehouse led three Dixieland-oriented titles in 1937 plus four numbers in 1938 with a 14-piece band that showed off his percussion work.
~ Scott Yanow

W. "Pappy" Lee O'Daniel
d. May 11, 1969. He owned the mill that sponsored "The Light Crust Doughboys" (Western Swing Orch.) And, he acted as their radio annoucer as well as the show's producer. Later was governor of Texas.
Ramona, vocals, piano
aka: Estrild Raymona Myers
b. Lockland, Ohio, USA
d. Dec. 14, 1972, Sacramento, California, USA.
Age: 63. (ovarian cancer). 
née: Ramona Davies. 
Her first fame was as vocalist and Pianist with the Paul Whiteman Orch.
Estrild Raymona Myers, an unlikely show biz name, would become internationally known as "Ramona." Her mother simply wanted to name her after her father, 17-year-old Raymond P. Myers, and the nearest name to it was Ramona. Raymond's wealthy parents believed that his bride, Rachel DeCamp, was below the social level of their teenage son. They annulled the marriage, unaware that fifteen-year-old Rachel was carrying Raymond's child. Rachael and infant Ramona moved across the border to Ashland, Kentucky, where she met her future husband, Charles C. Payne. Ramona told a reporter that her professional début took place at the age of 12 in Kentucky, when she was asked to play with a dance orchestra.
The Paynes soon made their home in Kansas City, Missouri, where young Ramona attended school at St. Agnes Academy. According to an old press release, the only black marks on her school record were for sneaking out from time to time to play piano in a Kansas City movie house. At station WDAF she became staff pianist for the Kansas City Night Hawk Frolic where, for a three-year period, she played in the company of many great performers. From there she went to Pittsburgh, Pa., and became 10 of the Twenty Fingers of Sweetness, a program sponsored by Swans Down Sugar on Westinghouse station KDKA. After hearing her on the radio, the renowned bandleader Don Bestor engaged 16-year-old Ramona as featured singer and pianist when he took his recording and stage orchestra on a coast-to-coast tour. Her appearances with Bestor's group led to her own stage act on vaudeville circuits such as Keith, Orpheum and Loew's.
In February, 1931 Ramona joined WLW in Cincinnati, "The Nation's Station," along with singer Seger Ellis, where she played on such programs as King Edward Cigar Band, Sohio Night Club and Werk's Bubble Blowers. At this time Paul Whiteman had the most famous orchestra in the world. He was paying Mildred Bailey $350 a week, sweetened by $600 from NBC. In the spring of 1932 Whiteman was doing five shows a day at a theatre engagement in Cincinnati. While relaxing in his dressing room, he tuned in WLW and heard Ramona singing in Spanish. A short time later he tuned in and heard her accompanying an Irish singer. 
Another time he tuned in and caught her accompanying her own singing. At a meeting arranged with Ramona, Whiteman asked her to join him when he opened in New York. Meanwhile, Mildred Bailey, after singing "We Just Couldn't Say Good-bye" od accepted a two-year contract at $125 a week (about one third what Whiteman was paying Bailey).n a Whiteman record, left in a flurry of lawsuits and joined CBS. 
Whiteman's original intention was to pair Ramona with crooner Red McKenzie, billing them as "Red & Ramona," but McKenzie had plans for his own orchestra. Ramona's recording début was on August 16, 1932, when she recorded "I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan." The ornate black and gold RCA-Victor label read: "Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra, Featuring Ramona and Her Grand Piano." Over the next five years Ramona would be presented and managed by Paul Whiteman. In concert halls, magazines, movie theaters, auto shows, night clubs, county fairs, films, on records and network radio, she would shine with the greatest names in show business. Ramona's most important radio appearances were on the Kraft Music Hall, which made its début on NBC in 1933. The stars were Al Jolson and Paul Whiteman's Orchestra. Ramona's four years with Whiteman were her most illustrious. Her shapely figure, charming voice and vivacious personality added glamour to the already famous Whiteman cast of characters.
She went by one name only, as did the Broadway actress Tamara, the French entertainer Mistinguett and, most assuredly, the incomparable Hildegarde. At some point she married quick-witted horn player Howard Davies, and was known by some as Ramona Davies. In 1936 the Whiteman orchestra was hired by producer Billy Rose to appear in his extravaganza Casa Mañana for the Fort Worth Frontier Centennial Exposition. For the entire summer the orchestra moved to Texas to play the nationally acclaimed show.
It was during Casa Mañana that Whiteman hired Ken Hopkins, a handsome young arranger, to write orchestrations. Ramona, recently divorced from Howard Davies, married Hopkins before the year ended. Ramona was one of many performers managed by Whiteman's Artists Management Bureau. She sued Whiteman in 1937 accusing him of charging large fees for her services and giving her too little of it. On February 16, 1937, Justice Joseph M. Callahan of the Supreme Court ruled in Whiteman's favor, and he let her out of her contract early. Joan Edwards, niece of Gus Edwards, eventually replaced her.
Ramona sailed to Europe on the luxurious Normandie to reap the benefits of her fame. On October 13, 1937, she began a choice engagement in London, headlining with Jack Harris at Ciro's Club on Orange Street. Ramona's London engagement was supposed to be for four weeks, but it was extended to six months. During her stay she gave a command performance for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Ramona returned to New York in 1938, and with her husband Ken's help, she formed a 12-piece all-male band. Ramona soon learned that a national career without Whiteman's help was infinitely more difficult.
Competition in Ramona's professional relationship with Hopkins led to his drinking, and their marriage felt the strain. Ramona met announcer Al Helfer (1912-1975) while doing her 15-minute radio show in Manhattan. They were married in Baltimore, Maryland, and Ramona worked until the time their only child, Ramona was born. Ramona's last network radio appearance may have been on ABC's Piano Playhouse on October 19, 1946. The radio network beckoned again from Manhattan, only this time it was not for Ramona and her Grand Piano.
Her husband Al was in great demand as a sports announcer. The family was so close-knit the parents moved to Denver to be near daughter Mona when she studied flute and voice at Denver University. By now her love of family had greatly overshadowed her show business yearnings and her husband's radio career surpassed hers. He was celebrated for making the annual presentation, beginning in 1947, of the famous Heisman Memorial Trophy. When Al Helfer retired, around 1969, he and Ramona moved to a house by a golf course near Sacramento, California. After an eight-month bout with cancer, Ramona died in Mercy San Juan Hospital in Sacramento. She was 63.

Joseph Rena, Drums
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. Dec. 26, 1973.

"Cowboy Slim" Rinehart, singing cowboy
b. (rural) Gustine, TX, USA.
("King of the Border Radio" Western singers.
About this same time Patsy Montana was "America's number one singing cowgirl")
Cowboy Slim Rinehart - Wikipedia
King of Border Radio

Andy Sannella in the 1930s
Andy Sannella
Anthony G. "Andy" Sannella (March 11, 1900 - December 10, 1962) was an American musician and bandleader.
Sannella, who was born in Indiana, was a multiinstrumentalist; according to jazz historian John Chilton he played violin, piano, organ, clarinet, alto saxophone, guitar (preferably steel guitar), banjo and vibraphone. Occasionally he also appeared as a singer.

Andy Stannella with his cat in 1931. 
PHOTO: Courtesy of Enrico Borsetti
Early career with Ray Miller and other bandleaders
Sannella began his musical studies on guitar and violin at the age of ten. After serving in the US Navy during World War I, Sannella spent the years 1920-1922 in Panama City working on violin and alto saxophone with various orchestras. He then settled in New York City where he played with the bands of Dan Gregory, Mike Markel and - not least - Ray Miller. With the latter orchestra Sannella seems to have made his first recordings during the years 1923-1925. On these recordings (which also feature jazz notables such as Frank Trumbauer and Miff Mole) Sannella is mainly featured on clarinet and alto saxophone, but is also heard soloing on bass clarinet on I Can't Get The One I Want (Brunswick 2643).

The label of an issue of Sannella's composition Needin' You on the Van Dyke label
As a studio musician
The label of an issue of Sannella's composition Needin' You on the Van Dyke label.
From the late 1920s onwards Sannella seems to have focused more and more on working as a studio musician rather than appearing with regular working bands. He was very much in demand and was hired by many conductors leading "house bands" for various record companies, including Nat Shilkret and Leonard Joy (both Victor Records), Ben Selvin (Columbia Records), Adrian Schubert (Banner Records and associated labels) and Bert Hirsch (Hit of the Week Records). Sannella also appears on several recordings directed by Sam Lanin, but it is not clear whether he also appeared with this orchestra on stage. In addition to working with larger orchestras Sannella also appeared with many smaller studio groups accompanying popular singers of the time such as Art Gillham, Cliff Edwards, Frank Crumit, Seger Ellis and Johnny Marvin.

Andy Stannella. PHOTO: Courtesy of Enrico Borsetti
In many of the orchestras listed above Sannella was working with the same basic core of fellow musicians, among these not least trumpet player Mike Mosiello, from whom Sannella seems to have been virtually inseparable during these years, and of whom he still spoke very highly in an interview shortly before his death. Amongst many other things Mosiello and Sannella (together with accordionist Charles Magnante) formed the nucleus of the prolific house band of the Grey Gull Company of Boston during the years 1926-1930.
In addition to performing the popular tunes of the day Mosiello and Sannella were allowed to wax several instrumental numbers of their own, often appearing as B-sides on the company's "pop" records. On these records Sannella is mainly featured playing alto saxophone, clarinet and steel guitar, often switching between all these instruments during the same number and thus giving them a very special noticeable sound. Songs credited to Sannella himself issued by Grey Gull include Needin' You and Sleeping Birds.

Recordings in his own name

The Grey Gull records were almost always issued anonymously or under pseudonym. However, for other labels Sannella was allowed to record with bands under his own name (ranging from trios to full dance orchestras) given proper credit. Labels for which Sannella recorded under his own name included Harmony, Columbia, Okeh, Victor and Hit of the Week. For Brunswick Sannella also recorded as a steel guitar soloist, his coupling of Sliding On The Frets and Blues Of The Guitar from 1929 (Brunswick 4484) becoming a minor hit and being issued in Europe as well (Slidin' On The Frets has also been reissued on CD).
Apparently these recordings made Sannella's name familiar enough to make The Selmer Company, a well known manufacturer of musical instruments, use Sannella's picture in their advertising. Sannella composed Valse Selmer to promote the company's saxophones.
Later career: radio, theatre and television work
Beginning with 1932 Sannella's appearances on records became increasingly rarer. Instead he was heard frequently on radio where, among other things, he directed the orchestra on a NBC show sponsored by Whitman's. From the late 1940s he also appeared regularly on TV shows for CBS. By this date Sannella was mainly performing as a pianist and organ player. He also directed a couple of shows on Broadway.

Andy Stannella, 1931. PHOTO: Courtesy of Enrico Borsetti
Now and then Sannella also returned to the recording studios well into the 1950s. Among his last records is an LP called The Girl Friends (Everest SDBR-1005, issued in 1958) where he plays standards and jazz numbers that have titles consisting of girls' names.
Andy Sannella died of a seizure on a street in New York.
All Music Guide


Blue Steele [Eugene Staples] - Blue Steele and His Orchestra       
Eugene Staples was born on March 11, 1893 somewhere in the state of Arkansas. Legend has it that he received a serious head wound during the First World War, whereupon his skull was patched with a piece of metal. This is believed to have inspired his nickname and might well have caused recurring instances of erratic and often unpleasant behavior that made him increasingly difficult to work with. He developed his chops during the early '20s by touring as a member of a hot jazz band known as Watson's Bell Hops. The Blue Steele Orchestra was formed during the mid-'20s in Atlanta, GA and quickly caught on with audiences throughout Florida by purveying a danceable blend of sweet and hot jazz-inflected pop music. Their first public appearance was at Tarpon Springs, FL. During the years 1927-1930, the band cut about two dozen records for Victor and achieved a popularity that would gradually wane throughout the '30s. Their theme song was "Coronado Memories." In 1928 Steele sat in and recorded with an orchestra led by singing banjoist Mart Britt.
Steele hired excellent players but few of them remained in the band for very long because of his volatile temperament and somewhat sadistic behavior. Most notoriously he would chastise his brass players by aiming blows at the bell of a horn while it was being played. Small wonder then that trumpeter Frank Martinez, saxophonist Pat Davis, pianist Joe Hall, and arranger Gene Gifford migrated as a unit to the Casa Loma Orchestra. Other fine players who passed through Steele's organization were trombonist Sunny Clapp (later the leader of his own Band O'Sunshine); singer and multi-reed man Kenny Sargent (ultimately one of the stars of the Casa Loma Orchestra); clarinetist Jack Echols (later associated with vocalist Phil Harris); clarinetist and alto saxophonist Frank Myers (who ended up working with Jack Jenny); tuba technician Cookie Trantham, familiar to fans of the Ray Miller Orchestra, and banjoist/guitarist Luke "Red" Rountree, who recorded with the California Ramblers in 1929. Steele often commandeered the microphone and vocalized in a warm and somewhat boisterous manner. Others who are known to have sung with the band were Kay Austin, Mabel Batson, Clyde Davis, George Marks, and Bob Nolan.
In 1941 Steele showed up in Mexico City, where he conducted a 52-member radio symphony orchestra and led various small dance bands. Unfortunately he became ever more prone to brash acts that sometimes culminated in violence. One source claims that he slew an IRS agent in Atlanta during the '40s without any provocation whatsoever. By the end of the '50s he was dominating a Dixieland band called the Rhythm Rebels. One of his bandmates was Elmer Schoebel, cardinal member of the original New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Blue Steele passed away at an undisclosed location on July 7 1971.
Photos of Andy Sannella via Enrico via The Bixography Forum
Red Hot Jazz Archive
All Music Guide

Lawrence Welk, Leader/Accordion
b. Strasberg, ND, USA.
d. May 17, 1992, Santa Monica, CA, USA. (Pneumonia).
Lawrence Welk - Wikipedia

Notable Events Occurring 
On This Date Include:

The Roxy Theatre 1927 postcard (the Taft Hotel is on the left).
On this date, during the 'golden age of the movie palaces', Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened the Roxy Theatre in New York City. It cost $10,000,000 (in 1927!) to build and held 6,200 theatre-goers.

Vaughn Monroe Orchestra recorded
"Sleepy Lagoon" (Bluebird), with
Ray Conniff playing trombone.

Ira Stripling
C&W Vocals/Guitar/Fiddle, died.
Age: 68.
Member of the Stripling Brothers, Charlie and Ira.
(né: Ira Lee Stripling).

Sonny Terry
(né: Saunders Terrell)
harmonica player
died in Mineola, NY, USA.
Age: 74.

Jim Boyd, bass, died.
(Born on a ranch near Ladonia, TX, USA)
He played with his brother Bill Boyd,
leader of "The Cowboy Ramblers"

Pete Pyle, guitar, died.
Member: 'Blue Grass Boys'
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Lizzie Miles
  • State Street Blues
  • Virginia Blues


Varsity Eight - Why Did I Kiss That Girl?

Original Memphis Five - Blue Grass Blues


King Oliver's Jazz Band
  • Too Bad

The Broadway Bell-Hops - Here Comes Malinda
  • Goodnight (I'll See You In The Morning)
  • Oh! You Lulu Belle

Abe Lyman's California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra


Fred Elizalde and his Anglo American Band - Arkansas Blues


Annette Hanshaw - (The One I Love) Just Can't Be Bothered With Me
  • With You - (From Motion Picture "Puttin' On The Ritz") (Irving Berlin)


Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra - Lawd, You Make The Night Too Long

Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - Blue Moments


Fats Waller - African Ripples


Andy Kirk and his Twelve Clouds Of Joy - I'se A Muggin'


Fats Waller and his Rhythm


Ted Weems and his Orchestra - Class Will Tell - Vocal Refrain by Perry Como
  • I Love To Ride On A Choo-Choo Train - Vocal refrain by Elmo Tanner
  • The Chestnut Tree - ('Neath The Spreading Chestnut Tree) - Vocal refrain by Elmo Tanner


*Sweet Sue - Just You
~(Harris, Young)

Every star above, baby,
Knows the one I love:
Sweet Sue - just you!

And the moon on high, baby,
Knows the reason why:
Sweet Sue - is you!

No one else it seems,
Ever shared my dreams,
Without you I don't know what I'd do.

In this heart of mine,
You live all the time,
Ooh, Sue - just you!

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.

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