Hillard Brown, drums
b. Birmingham, AL, USA.
by Eugene Chadbourne
"He looks so tired and sleepy, he should be in bed, getting some rest...I was unaware of his life style." These comments are lifted from one of the many historical anecdotes in the history of the jazz; this just happens to be one that features drummer Hillard Brown. It is one of the Charlie Parker jam session stories, set in the early days of that revolutionary bebop artist's career. It is not the story where Parker's playing is so weird the drummer karoms a cymbal at him. This time, the rumpled "Bird" is invited to take flight with a formation featuring Brown on drums, Raymond Orr on trumpet, and Marl Young on piano, among others, but didn't even have an instrument with him and appeared too weak to spread his wings. After borrowing an alto saxophone, Bird said the band could go ahead and play "anything," which turned out to be "Cherokee." Orr recalled that, "When the tune was finished, the band was wringing wet. Bird was fabulous!"
Another night, another jam, another "Cherokee." The drummer surely must have had no hint that this particular time would go down in history. At the point in the early '40s when it happened, Brown was already closing in on his second decade as a drummer. He began playing in 1926, and had several excellent teachers including Oliver Coleman. As a professional, he began leaving a mark in the summer of 1934 in a group led by pianist Ruth Oldham which held forth at Chicago's Monogram Theatre.
Brown was strongly associated with the Windy City's music scene throughout his career. This meant rubbing shoulders with many players from elsewhere who at one time or another decided to try their licks in Chicago; Parker was just one example. It also meant being part of a fascinating amalgam of musical projects blending jazz and blues according to various recipes. The action went in the basement recording studios of independent labels as well as on the stages of nightclubs, some of which were run by notorious gangsters. Jazz historians can bicker over which represented the most dangerous situation for the performer.
Recording documentation of Brown's career is surprisingly scant considering the length and breadth of his paradiddles. Between 1944 and the mid-'70s, one jazz discographical reference averages out much less than one recording per year for this drummer. If all these sides were collected and piled up on a coffee table, the proportion of Duke Ellington titles would make it seem like drumming in this outfit was a major part of Brown's life. Actually, that stint represented only one part of the month of October 1944. The following year, Brown performed at the Onyx Club in New York City in a band led by tenor saxophonist Ben Webster that also featured Parker in the lineup. Like Parker, Brown also had affiliations in this period with leaders such as the dynamic vocalist and pianist Jay McShann and smooth balladeer Billy Eckstine. By 1946, Brown had put these and many other sideman affiliations aside in order to lead his own band.

In the late '40s, this group could be found in residency at Joe's Deluxe Club in Chicago. Brown kept the band going until 1954 but there do not seem to be many recordings of it. Until the mid-'60s, Brown became more involved behind the scenes as a business agent for the musician's union. Pianist Art Hodes seems to have dabbed Brown back into the color palate of gigging in the '70s, resulting in a late period in the drummer's activities that for once is documented quite well. The Jazzology label released some delightfully informal sessions beginning in 1971, featuring Brown and Hodes with players such as clarinetist Barney Bigard and guitarist Eddie Condon. The label did several sessions with the Hodes combo in 1974 and 1975, and at the end of that decade, an outfit called the Foundation for Jazz Music videotaped a pair of jam sessions entitled After Hours With Art Hodes. Brown kept his eye on his bank balance during this busy segment withHodes, however, combining the gigging with a sideline in real estate. 
Hillard Brown

Benjamin Francis Ford
singer-songwriter/banjo/comedy actor
b. Desoto, MO, USA.
Tag: "The Duke of Paducah".
( b, May 1, 1901, DeSoto, Missouri, USA, d. June 20, 1986).
aka: Whitey Ford.
He got the name 'Whitey' while serving in the U. S. Navy, and got his stage name while appearing in vaudville with a Dixieland band. There were two great Whitey Fords during the 20th century. One was a left-handed pitcher for the New York Yankees, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, and the other, Benjamin "Whitey" Ford, known as the Duke of Paducah, was one of country music's first hillbilly comedians. A longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, the Duke of Paducah's catalog of jokes has continued to amuse audiences since being purchased by country music television show, Hee Haw.
The Duke of Paducah began his career in the early '20s as a banjo player and vocalist for the McGinty Cowboys. When leadership of the band was taken over by Otto Gray, who had previously led a string band comprised of real cowboys, it was renamed Otto Gray & His Oklahoma Cowboys. Dressed in western outfits, and white ten-gallon hats, the band became one of the most successful country & western acts of the '20s and '30s, introducing such now-classic tunes as "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain," "Who Broke the Lock on the Henhouse Door," and "The Cowboy's Lament." Heard on more than 140 radio stations, and in half a dozen film shorts, the group toured the Northeastern RKO and Orpheum circuits from 1928 until 1932.
The Duke of Paducah, who increasingly focused on comedy after the disbanding of Otto Gray & His Oklahoma Cowboys in 1936, remained a favorite of Grand Ole Opry listeners throughout the '40s, '50s and early '60s. He was inducted into the Country Music hall of Fame in 1986
~ Craig Harris

Gordon Jenkins, Leader
b. Webster Grove, MO, USA
d. May 1, 1984
Gordon Hill Jenkins (May 12, 1910 – May 1, 1984) was an American arranger, composer and pianist who was an influential figure in popular music in the 1940s and 1950s, renowned for his lush string arrangements. Jenkins worked with the Andrews Sisters, Johnny Cash, The Weavers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald, among other singers.

Jack Jenney
b. Mason City, IA, USA.
d. Dec. 16, 1945, Los Angeles, CA.
né: Truman Elliot Jenney
Truman Eliot "Jack" Jenney was a jazz trombonist who might be best known for instrumental versions of the song Stardust. Jenney played with his father's band from age 11, his father was a musician and music teacher, but his first professional work began with Austin Wylie in 1928. 

He would go on to work with Isham Jones, Red Norvo, Artie Shaw, Mal Hallett, and Waring's Pennsylvanians, and appear in the film Syncopation. He also won the Down Beat Reader's Poll for trombone in 1940
He led his own band for a year in 1939-40, which included Peanuts Hucko and Hugo Winterhalter. Although this band received good reviews it was a financial failure. He would also be drafted into the United States Navy. After his return he died of complications related to appendicitis.
He was married to singer Kay Thompson and later to Bonnie Lake. He is on occasion compared to Bix Beiderbecke as both came from Iowa and died young, but not because of any similarity in style or life history.

Billy Munn, Piano
b. Glasgow, Scotland
d. May 2, 2000, Scotland
William "Billy" Munn was a Scottish jazz pianist and arranger.
Munn studied at the Athenaeum School of Music, then moved to London and joined the band of Jack Hylton from 1929 to 1936. He also played on recordings with Spike Hughes (1932) and Benny Carter (1936) during this time. Munn then played with Sydney Lipton (1936-40) and concomitantly played with Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins on their tours of England, as well as with Wingy Manone in the United States. He played with Stephane Grappelli in 1943 and George Chisholm in 1944, then led his own ensemble at the Orchid Room in Mayfair from 1945 to 1948. He co-founded the BBC program Jazz Club in the 1940s with Mark White and Harry Parry.
In 1948-49 Munn directed the Maurice Winnick Orchestra at Ciro's club in London, and subsequently led the house band at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay for three decades, from 1949 to 1979. He recorded several times with this group. After 1979 he played solo, mostly locally in Torquay.

Marshall Royal, Alto Sax
b. Sapulpa, OK, USA.
d. May 9, 1995, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Birth Name: Marshall Walton Royal.

Member: Count Basie Orchestra 
Marshall Royal (or Marshal Royal) was an American clarinettist and alto saxophonist best known for his work with Count Basie, with whose band he played for nearly twenty years.
Royal was born in Oklahoma, the elder brother of trumpeter Ernie Royal, and learned to play violin, guitar, as well as clarinet and sax while still a child. He first performed in public at the age of thirteen, starting his professional career with an eight-year stint with Les Hite's band (1931–1939), during which time he also recorded with Art Tatum. He spent 1940 to 1942 with Lionel Hampton, until the war interrupted his career. After his military service (during which he played in a Navy band), Royal played with Eddie Heywood, then went on to work in studios inLos Angeles, California.
In 1951 Royal replaced Buddy DeFranco as clarinettist with Count Basie's septet, which Basie had formed when he'd had to break up his big band. When the Basie band was reformed the following year, Royal stayed on as lead alto saxophonist and as music director — not to leave until 1970. Though he was admired as an occasional soloist, his main rôle was as an important part of the reeds section, and as a leader who helped to give Basie's sound its distinctively precise yet swinging character.
When he left Basie in 1970, Royal settled permanently in Los Angeles, continuing to play and record, working withBill Berry's big band, Frank Capp and Nat Pierce, Earl Hines, and Duke Ellington.
Royal recorded as a soloist with Dave Frishberg in 1977, and with Warren Vache in 1978. He led a band withSnooky Young in the 1970s and 1980s, recording with it, under his own name, and with Ella Fitzgerald and Gene Harris, among others. In 1989 he too the lead alto chair with Frank Wess's big band.
Marshall Royal

Boston Smith, piano
b. Dallas, TX, USA. 

Billy Thorburn
British dance band leader

Notable Events Occurring 
On This 
Date Include:

Earnest "Flunkey" "44" Johnson, piano
died in Greenville, MS, TX, USA.
Age: 69.

Joe Bishop
died in Houston, TX, USA.
Age: 68.

Joe Mooney
vocal, accordion, organ
died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.
(b. March 14, 1911 in Paterson, New Jersey, USA)
Joe Mooney: Information from

Frank Weir
alto sax, clarinet, leader
died (b. 1911? )

Louis Barbarin, drummer
died in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
(b. May 5, 1899, New Orleans, Louisiana , USA.)

Songs Recorded/Releas
On This Date Include:


Original Dixieland Jass Band - Ostrich Walk
  • Sensation Rag


The Happy Six - Pick Me Up And Lay Me Down (In Old Dixieland)

Ray Miller's Orchestra
  • You're Like A Ray Of Sunshine (Introducing: "Every Little Miss" and "Sittin' Pretty")


Lena Wilson accompanied by her Jazz Hounds
  • Deceitful Blues
  • Memphis, Tennessee


Paul Ash and his Granada Orchestra
  • La Golondrina
  • Ojos Hermosos
  • Pale Moon

Waring's Pennsylvanians
  • Goodnight, Sleep Tight


Henry Halstead and His Orchestra
  • Dream Of Love And You
  • If I Were King

University Six - San
  • Ace In The Hole
  • Tiger Rag

The Goofus Five I Wonder What's Become Of Joe?
  • Poor Papa (He's Got Nothin' At All)


The Dixie Stompers - Variety Stomp
  • Cornfed!
  • St. Louis Blues

Roger Wolfe Kahn Orchestra - South Wind
  • Calling - Vocal refrain by Franklyn Baur
  • Where The Wild, Wild Flowers Grow

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
  • La Golondrina
  • La Paloma (The Dove)


Memphis Jug Band - Everybody's Talking About Sadie Green

Isham Jones and his Orchestra - Not A Cloud In The Sky


Waring's Pennsylvanians
  • With Summer Coming On

Ben Selvin and his Orchestra
  • Crazy People
  • Is I In Love ? I Is


Poor Papa, He's Got Nothin' At All
Composer: Harry Woods
Lyricist: Billy Rose

Don't get married, don't get married
Said my friend McBride
If you take a wife
You're out of luck for life
He had all his little sons
And daughters by his side
Like Happy Hooligan's sixteen kids
They all lined up and cried

Then Mac cried: Oh what a life
I've got no chance at all

Once a girl gets you

You'll look like I do too

Then he lined his children up

The short ones and the tall

And as they marched down the avenue

You should have heard them bawl

Mama's got shoes, mama's got clothes
Mama's got these and mama's got those
But poor papa, poor papa
He's got nothin' at all
Mama goes here, mama goes there
Mama goes out to ev'ry affair
But poor papa, poor papa
He waits out in the hall
Christmas comes and mama gets
The most expensive frocks
Papa gets a necktie and a pair of ten cent socks
Ev'ry one cheers when mama appears
She's got diamonds stuck in her ears
But poor papa, poor papa
He's got nothin' at all

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