Wednesday

JUNE 15TH


BIRTHDAYS


1894 
Robert Russell Bennett
piano/Composer/arranger/conductor
b. Kansas City, Kansas, USA
d. August 17, 1981, New York, NY, USA.
His mother taught him to play the piano. He was most active in the Hollywood studios.Biography
~by Lynn Vought 
Bennett studied with Busch in Kansas City and with Boulanger in Paris. He composed a wide variety of music, including several symphonies and orchestral works, music for chamber groups and wind bands, two operas and a ballet-opera. However, Bennett's recognition stems from his work in orchestration. This career started with a commission in 1919 by the publishers T.B. Harms to orchestrate songs for the theatre. One of his earliest efforts was Cole Porter's An Old Fashioned Garden (1919). He went on to become the leading orchestrator for Broadway musicals from the 1920s to the 60s. He scored some 300 productions, including the works of Kern, Gershwin, Berlin, Rodgers and Lowe. His efforts established criteria for other orchestrators to follow, and elevated the status of the orchestrator to equal to that of the authors and composers. Instrumentally Speaking (Melville, NY, 1975), is the title of his book on orchestration.

Robert Russell Bennett - Wikipedia

1912
Alix Combelle, Clarinet
b. Mantes, France.
d. 1978. Biography
~by Scott Yanow 
Alix Combelle was France's best-known tenor saxophonist of the 1930s and '40s, an excellent player influenced by Coleman Hawkins but able to hold his own on a few famous performances with Hawkins, Benny Carter, and Django Reinhardt. He started on drums, switching permanently to tenor (and occasional clarinet) in 1932.
Combelle played with Gregor et ses Gregoriens (1932-1933), Arthur Briggs, Michel Warlop, and Ray Ventura, and often led his own groups. He visited the U.S. twice in the 1930s and was offered a job with Tommy Dorsey, but preferred to stay in Paris. Somehow, during the World War II occupation of France by the Nazis, Combelle was able to continue recording swinging jazz.
He drifted into obscurity by the late '40s, although getting the opportunity to play with such visiting Americans as Buck Clayton, Jonah Jones, and expatriate Bill Coleman, and made his last full record as a leader in 1960. Fortunately, three CDs have been released by Classics that contain all of Alix Combelle's sessions as a leader during 1935-1943 with the who's-who of French jazz.
Alix Combelle - Wikipedia



1889
Clarence Jones, piano
d. 1949, USA



1900
Paul Mares, Trumpet
b. New Orleans, LA, USA.
d. August 18, 1949, USA.
One of original Chicago Dixielanders. Also composed song "Farewell Blues" Biography
~by Scott Yanow
A fine, underrated trumpeter, Paul Mares was the leader of the pacesetting New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Mares was self-taught and picked up early experience playing with Tom Brown's band on the riverboat Capitol. He left New Orleans in 1919 to work in Chicago with Ragbaby Stevens, and soon Mares was freelancing in the city. In 1921 he formed the Friars Society Orchestra, a group that prominently featured trombonist George Brunies and clarinetist Leon Rappolo. From 1922-23, the band (renamed the New Orleans Rhythm Kings) recorded for Gennett and were arguably the finest jazz group on record, at least until King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. Mares was always modest about his own playing, saying that he was influenced by Oliver, but the New Orleans Rhythm Kings became a major influence themselves on up-and-coming jazz musicians, including the members of the Austin High School Gang and Bix Beiderbecke.

New Orleans Rhythm Kings Left to Right:
Leon Roppolo, Jack Pettis, Elmer Schoebel, Arnold Loyacano,
Paul Mares, Frank Snyder, George Brunies.
The original version of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings broke up in 1924. Mares played in New York for a short time, went back to New Orleans the following year and led a couple more sessions under the name of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. He then largely retired from playing to work in the family fur business, and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings passed into history. In 1934, Mares moved to Chicago; the following year he made a brief comeback and led a recording session that resulted in four titles before he retired again. Mares ran a barbeque restaurant, did defense plant work during World War II, and returned to music in 1945, leading a final band from 1945-48 that unfortunately never recorded.
1892
Tex Owens
C&W singer/songwriter
wrote "Cattle Call"
b. Killeen, TX, USA.
né: Doye (sometimes: Doie) Hensley Owens.
Country music singer and songwriter Tex Owens was born Doie Hensley Owens in Killeen, Texas, on June 15, 1892. He was the son of Curcley Sly and Susan (Frances) Owens. He came from a large and musically talented family; one of his ten sisters, Ruby Agnes, also went on to country music fame as Texas Ruby. While he was still a teenager Owens performed in a traveling outfit, Cowdell's Wagon Show, which played throughout the Texas plains. Tex Owens and his wife, Maude, were married on June 16, 1916.
Owens spent his early years as a cowboy and oilfield worker in Texas.


Tex Owens - Cattle Call
He later held a series of jobs in the Midwest, until his friends urged him to take his musical talents to radio in 1931. For the next ten years he co-hosted the popular "Brush Creek Follies," on KMBC in Kansas City, featuring his group, the Original Texas Rangers, and his two daughters Dolpha (Jane) and Laura Lee (Joy). Laura Lee later married country musician Dickie McBride and sang for many years with Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (see MCBRIDE, LAURA L. O. and WILLS, JAMES R.). In 1935 Owens penned his biggest hit song, "Cattle Call," which he recorded for Decca Records. The song later became a hit recording for singer Eddie Arnold. Owens also hosted the Boone County Jamboree on WLW in Cincinnati and appeared on several other radio shows.
Though Owens went back to the oilfields during World War II, he later returned to entertainment as a movie cowboy. His postwar career was cut short, however, when a horse fell on him and broke his back during the filming of Red River, with John Wayne, in 1950. Tex Owens died at his home in New Baden, Texas, on September 9, 1962.
~John Wheat


1917
Leon Payne
C&W singer/songwriter
b. Alba, TX, USA.
Leon Roger Payne was born in Alba, Texas on June 15, 1917. He was blind in one eye at birth, and lost the sight of the other eye in early childhood.[citation needed] He attended the Texas School for the Blind from 1924 to 1935, where he met his future wife, Myrtie Velma Courmier.[citation needed] They had two children together, as well as two children from Myrtie's previous marriage. Leon Payne died in 1969 in San Antonio, Texas. His wife Myrtie died in San Antonio in 2008, and Leon's composition "I Love You Because" was played at her funeral service.


1880
"Blind" Alfred Reed
C&W songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/recording artist
b. Floyd, VA, USA. Biography
~by Mark A. Humphrey 
This West Virginia singer/songwriter and fiddler was one of Ralph Peer's discoveries on the legendary 1927 Bristol field trip that unearthed both the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. Reed was one of those uniquely Southern contradictions, both reactionary and progressive in his songs. "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" echoed the sentiments of the rural poor (who tasted none of the Roaring Twenties prosperity), while "Why Do You Bob Your Hair, Girls?" invoked Biblical sanctions against flappers. Topical commentary of this sort was rare in early hillbilly recordings: Reed's contemporaries usually pruned a branch from the folk tree or swiped a page from Mom's Victorian songbook. Incongruously, Reed was a protest singer/songwriter out of time and place. Ry Cooder revived a couple of his songs in the '70s, the decade of Rounder's reissue of several Reed performances, How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?

Blind Alfred Reed - Wikipedia


1915
Allan Reuss
Allan Reuss (June 15, 1915 – June 4, 1988) was an American jazz guitarist.
Biography
Reuss was born New York City, he began playing professionally as a banjoist at age 12. He learned guitar from George Van Eps. In the middle of the 1930s, Reuss began playing in Benny Goodman's orchestra, playing with him on and off until 1943. He played with Paul Whiteman and then with Jack Teagarden from 1939 to 1940; following this he was with Jimmy Dorsey (1941–42) and Harry James (1942-43). Alongside his spots in orchestras, he was a frequent session musician for New York recordings. In 1945 he moved to Los Angeles, where he continued as a studio guitarist, played with Arnold Ross, and led a trio. Among his credits are work with Mildred Bailey, rhythm guitar for the Song "Grim grinning Ghosts" in Disneys Haunted Mansion , Bunny Berigan, Benny Carter, Billie Holiday, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson and Charlie Ventura. He appeared on the Big Band standards "Sing, Sing, Sing" by Benny Goodman and "Moonlight Serenade" by Glenn Miller.

Compositions


His compositions included "Pickin' For Patsy" with Jack Teagarden, "Shufflin' at the Hollywood" with Lionel Hampton, and "More and More" with Rainey Robinson and Tommy Karen.



1891
Johnny Stein, Drums
b. New Orleans, LA., USA
d. 1962. (maybe b. June 15, 1895)
John Philip Hountha "Johnny" Stein (1891 or 1895, New Orleans - September 30, 1962, New Orleans) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. Drummer of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
Johnny Stein on drums

1918
Turk Van Lake, Guitar
b. Boston, MA, USA
He was the guitarist on the Benny Goodman tour to Russia [1962], and had worked for Benny on earlier bands. He had been living and teaching in Staten Island for many years.
Turk van Lake also worked as a musician and/or arranger with Chick Webb, Georgie Auld, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich and others in the 1940s. He recorded with Terry Gibbs, Sarah Vaughan, Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson and Les Elgart in the 1950s, and with Herbie Mann in the 1960s. He led his own groups at different times.
Turk Van Lake -- Jazz Guitarist, 84 - The New York Times


1910
Stan Wrightsman, Piano
b. Gotebo, OK, USA.
d. 1975. Biography
~by Chris Kelsey 
Born in Oklahoma, as a child he moved with his family to Springfield, MO, in 1914. Wrightsman's father was a musician and his first gigs were with his dad's band. He left home at 16 to play in a band at a hotel in Gulfport, MS. Wrightsman then played in bands around Oklahoma before landing a job as a staff musician at Oklahoma City radio station WKY in 1928.
In 1930, he moved to New Orleans and played with bandleader Ray Miller. He traveled to the West Coast with Henry Halstead in 1933; there he played with various bands. He moved to Chicago in 1935-1936 to play with Ben Pollack for a time, before becoming ill and going back to California in 1937. In Los Angeles, he played with Santo Pecora, then worked freelance and from the late '30s, he played in the Hollywood studios.
Inspired in large part by an association with Spike Jones, Wrightsman ventured into the realm of musical parody; in 1941, he played and recorded with the Jones band that evolved into the City Slickers. Wrightsman left when the band moved too far afield of jazz. During the '40s, he played mainstream jazz and pop with -- among others -- Artie Shaw, Wingy Manone, Eddie Miller, Rudy Vallée, and Nappy Lamare. He played with Bob Crosby from 1950-1951; later in the decade, he played and recorded with Matty Matlock, Pete Fountain, and the Rampart Street Paraders (featuring a young George Van Eps on guitar); also, Ray Bauduc, Wild Bill Davison, and Bob Scobey.
He played on the soundtracks to the Red Nichols biopic The Five Pennies and the Jack Webb film Pete Kelly's Blues. Wrightsman played with Fountain a great deal during the '60s and continued working in TV and film. He moved to Las Vegas in the late '60s, where he backed Wayne Newton and Flip Wilson, among others.


Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:


1968.
The great Jazz Guitarist
Wes Montgomery died in
Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Age: 45.



1996.
Vocalist Ella Fitzgerald
died in Beverly Hills, CA, USA.
Age: 79. "The First Lady of Song".
(b. April 25, 1918, Newport News, VA, USA)



Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


1923


Marion Harris
  • Tain't Nuthin' Else


Bessie Smith - Midnight BluesFletcher Henderson at the Piano



1926



Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders - As Long As I Have You



1927


Paul Ash and his Orchestra - Ain't That A Grand And Glorious Feeling?
  • Love And Kisses (From Baby To You)


Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra - Alligator Crawl

The Goofus Five - Vo-Do-Do-De-O Blues
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra

1929




Texas Alexander - Awful Moaning Blues - Part 1
Tom Gerun and his Orchestra
  • Let Me Have My Dreams

1933



Don Bestor and his Orchestra


LYRICS:

VO DO DO DE O BLUES
~(Ager / Yellen)

Stop playing that crazy thing
Crazy words with a crazy swing
I've got those
Vo do do de o blues.

Stop saying those crazy rhymes
Gee, I've heard them a million times
I've got a forty-four that I'll use
If you refuse.

All night long
I hear that song upon my radio.
In cabarets and in cafes
They play that vo do do.

Ah! That darn refrain
Is driving me insane!
Stop! Please! Help me loose
Those Vo do do de o blues!


brought to you by...
~confetta


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