The Blue DevilsAfter bandleader Bennie Moten raided the Blue Devils: Leroy "Snake" White, Jap Jones, Doc Ross, Leonard Chadwick, Lester Young, George Young, Ernie Williams, Henry "Buster" Smith, Charlie Washington, Reuben Lynch, Druie Bess, Abe Bolar, Raymond Howell; c 1932. Courtesy Kansas City Museum


Druie Bess, trombone
Druie received his first lessons from his father, Frank Bess, who played both cornet and trombone. Both eventually found work in Tom Howard's band. Later, Ed Duncan, gave Druie some lessons too. At age of five, Druie was already playing at picnics with his bandleader father. At 15, Druie was already a professional touring with the Dandy Dixie Minstrel Band, and followed that with several years in Herbert's Minstrels. In the mid-'20s, druie played in various Missouri territory bands, including the Newway Jazz Hounds, and Bill Lewis' Dixie Ramblers.
In St. Louis, MO, April 27, 1927, Druie Bess recorded with Jesse Stone's Blues Serenaders (Albert Hinton and Oliver "Slick" Jackson, trumpets; Druie Bess, trombone; Glenn Hughes and Jack Washington, alto saxophones; Elmer Burch, tenor saxophone; Jesse Stone, piano; Silas Cluke, banjo; Pete Harrison, tuba; Max Wilkinson, drums). Leaving St. Louis for Kansas City, first worked with Chauncey Downs, before joining Walter Page's Blue Devils. In Kansas City November 10, 1929, Druie recorded with Walter Page's Blue Devils (Jimmy Rushing, vocal; James Simpson, Oran "Hot Lips" Page, and James LuGrand, trumpets; Druie Bess, trombone; Buster Smith, clarinet and alto saxophone; Ted Manning, alto saxophone; Reuben Roddy, tenor saxophone; William "Count" Basie, piano; Reuben Lynch, guitar; Walter Page, baritone saxophone, tuba, and bass; Alvin Burroughs, drums). He stayed with Page from 1929 until 1931 (when the band became simply - the 'Blue Devils'.
In the 1930s, Druie worked with various midwest bands, perhaps the most notable of which was the Grant Moore-Pettiford Orchestra in Minneapolis, MN (for 2 years). After that, he returned to St. Louis, MO, and spent 3 years with Eddie Randle's Blue Devils . Druie next found steady work on the Mississippi Riverboats working with such bands as Cecil Scott, Eddie Johnson, Dewey Jackson and pianist Fate Marable (who took Bess to Pittsburgh, PA, for some gigs). He next worked with the Jeters Pillars Orchestra, and then spent 2 years (1944-'46) with Earl "fatha" Hines' orchestra.
1948 found Druie playing with the Ringling Brothers Circus Band. It wasn't 'Jazz', but it was a good, steady paying job. In the '50s, he worked with Joe Smith's Dixielanders. His work during the 1960s was all local gigs, but in the 1970s, was working in the band aboard the cruise liner 'mv Admiral' His date of demise is not known.
Druie Bess: Information from

W.E. "Smoky Ducas", drums
b. Quinton, OK. Worked with Bob Wills

Bob Eberly, Singer
b. Mechanicsville, NY, USA.
d. Dec. 17, 1981.
né: Robert Eberle.
Best remembered for his work with The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Bob Eberly Popular big band singer Bob Eberly spent much of his career with Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra. His younger brother, Ray Eberle, sang with Glenn Miller and later led his own band. In his early days, Bob, who changed the spelling of his last name because the announcer of the Milton Berle radio show kept mispronouncing it, gained prominence by winning the ''Allen Amateur Hour'' on Fred Allen's radio show. He began his professional career singing in clubs around his hometown of Hoosick Falls, in upstate New York, where the Dorsey Brothers discovered him and later hired him to replaced the departing Bob Crosby.
Eberly started work in the spring of 1935, just before Tommy walked out on the orchestra. He stayed with Jimmy for eight years and became one of the top male vocalists of his day, rivaling Bing Crosby and later Frank Sinatra for that title. Well-liked by his peers, he became best friends and eventually roommates with Jimmy Dorsey. Throughout his career he was encouraged by many in the industry to strike out on his own, but he refused. He was perfectly happy earning a weekly salary with Dorsey's group. Most famous are his duets with Helen O'Connell, in whom he also had romantic interest. 

In December of 1943 his relationship with Dorsey finally ended when he entered the army and was stationed in the Chicago area with Wayne King's orchestra. His two years in the service severely hurt his career. After he received his discharge he returned to the civilian music world to find he had been largely forgotten by the general public. Nevertheless, he remained active in the music industry for the rest of his life, singing mainly in small clubs. During the early 1950s he was a regular on the television program TV's Top Tunes. In 1980 he had one lung removed but still continued to sing. He died of a heart attack in 1981.

Herbie Haymer, Tenor Sax
b. Jersey City, NJ, USA. d. 1949.
né: Herbert Maximillum Haymer.
At age 15, he began playing alto sax, switching to tenor five years later. Haymer began his professional career working with the Carl Sears-Johnny Watson Band, and later worked briefly with Rudy Vallee and Charlie Barnet. During 1935-'37, he worked with Red Norvo, 1937-'41 with Jimmy Dorsey, 1941-'42 with Woody Herman, and during 1942-'43 with Kay Kyser. Then, he very briefly worked with Benny Goodman before becoming a part of the Dave Hudkins band in Los Angeles, CA. In 1944, he became a member of the U. S. Navy, serving until World War II ended. After being de-mobilized, he worked mostly as a 'sessions' musician, but did occasionally gig again with Goodman and Nichols. In 1945, Herbie led an all-star recording date (a quintet with Charlie Shavers and Nat "King" Cole), and in 1946 recorded for the Keynote label. In 1949, Haymer was killed in a car accident while driving home from a Frank Sinatra recording session. In private correspondence, his son, Herbert Bruce Haymer, has said that his father was driving a convertible, and died when he was thrown into a utility pole. He was only 33 years old.
Herbie Haymer - Wikipedia
Herbie Haymer: Information from

"Washboard Willie" Hensley, washboard/drums
b. Phenix City, AL, USA.
It wasn't until William Hensley was 31 years old that he decided to buy a washboard and begin to make music on it. He bought a wood and metal washboard, fastened a four-inch frying pan to one corner, put eight metal thimbles on his fingers, tied the board around his neck with a dog leash, and started beating away. As a kid growing up in Columbus, GA, there were always vaudeville acts and tent and minstrel shows coming through the area. He always loved beating on the drums or anything with a surface. He played around the Columbus area occasionally, but nothing really professionally. 

In 1948 he moved north to Detroit, where he had to concentrate more on making a living, than beating on his washboard, and he didn't play at all for three years. It wasn't until 1952, that he and a friend were out one night looking for John Lee Hooker, when they came upon Eddie Burns and his little group, playing at the Harlem Inn. After hearing the drummer playing out of time, Hensley got his washboard from the car, and began playing along with the band. By the second song, the bar owner offered Hensley a job playing the washboard for the weekend. The band, along with Hensley, played there for three years. During the day he washed cars for a local auto company. One day he had this idea, while making some suds in the water, to call his band, Washboard Willie & the Super Suds of Rhythm. This first band consisted of Washboard Willie on washboard and vocals, Chuck Smith on bass, and Anthony Lewis. At first, Hensley was just beating the washboard, and tapping his foot; soon he added the bass drum, and then the snare. In 1955, Hensley gave a young upstart, Little Sonny Willis (harmonica), his first job.

In 1956, Hensley recorded for Joe Von Battle at the Palmer House in Detroit. Hensley teamed-up with Calvin Frazier on guitar, to record "Cherry Red Blues" and '"Washboard Shuffle," along with "Washboard Blues Pt. 1 & 2." He continued to record for Von Battle from 1957 to 1962. The sessions included Hensley, drums, washboard, and vocals; Calvin Frazier, guitar; Boogie Woogie Red, piano; and Chuck Smith, baritone saxophone. The tape sat in the backroom of Von Battle's record shop, until George Paulus retrieved them and put them out on his Barrelhouse Records, in 1982; JSP Records from England, also released the sessions.
In 1966, Willie did a session for the Herculon label, releasing "Natural Born Lover" and "Wee Baby Blues," backed by Evans McLendon on guitar, and Angelo Willis on baritone saxophone. The band was now playing seven nights a week in Detroit and Ann Arbor. In 1973, he toured with the American Blues Legends '73 Tour, traveling all over Europe. An album was released on Big Bear/Poly 2460 186 from the tour featuring Hensley, along with Lightnin' Slim, Whispering Smith, Boogie Woogie Red, Snooky Pryor, and Homesick James. By 1979, Washboard Willie wasn't playing much anymore -- only special local engagements. He was always a family man and a Sunday School teacher, and he began to enjoy his retirement. He died on August 24, 1991, at the age of 82, in Detroit.
~ Fred Reif

Whitey and Hogan
Arval Albert Hogan, C&W
b. Robbinsville, NC, USA.
A natural performer who could crack up even the most serious audience, Arval Albert Hogan hailed from remote Andrews, NC, where learning to entertain one's self was one sure way of avoiding boredom. He became half of the popular early country and bluegrass duo Whitey & Hogan, whose spirited reading of the outlaw spiel "Jesse James" was chosen for inclusion on the first volume of the Rounder label's important reissue series The Early Days of Bluegrass. The two singing partners met while working in the same cotton mill in Gastonia. Once the conversation got around to music, the new friends discovered they each had an ambition to perform. They began with playing in a series of churches in the Carolinas, building up the courage and the talent to audition for a new radio station when it opened its doors in Gastonia.
The duo wound up with a program sponsored by a department store, which ran for 15 minutes during the midday. Another program featuring the duo was created as a remote broadcast from the window of a furniture store, where they would sit and pick. The talented friends picked up a loyal following in the Charlotte area with their expanded group the Briarhoppers, initially formed in 1935. Partner Roy "Whitey" Grant was skeptical and felt the listeners were there to get set and not miss a moment of the popular Lone Rangers broadcast, coming on moments after the duo was done. Nonetheless, the group became something of an institution in Charlotte that has lasted well beyond the popularity of the "Hi ho silver!" dude. The Cowboy label gave Hogan and his partner the first chance to record in the late '30s and despite limited distribution, the song "Jesse James" became one of their most requested numbers. It was a boost upwards for sure, leading to a chance to go to New York and cut for Decca, where a total of some 16 sides were eventually recorded. One of these records was one of the first versions of the old-time chestnut "Turn Your Radio On."
Whitey & Hogan published their own song folio, Whitey & Hogan's Mountain Memories, in 1947. In 1949 and 1950, they also recorded for Sonora and continued a regular series of broadcasts and schoolhouse performances. Other gigs came via bookings by community groups and a theater circuit that sometimes engaged the group nightly for a month straight. The Briarhoppers finally broke up in 1953 after enduring a lack of much financial return for their barnstorming. Hogan said goodbye and moved to Florida, but after a period of separation decided he wanted to be back together with his old partner, but not on a musical basis. They wound up living next door to each other, both working as mail carriers for the post office. The resurgence in interest in bluegrass at the end of the 20th century has gotten these reluctant mailmen in its power, however, and by 1996, a re-formed Briarhoppers featuring Whitey & Hogan was busy touring and cutting new albums.

Peggy Mann, vocals.
née: Margaret Germano.
Worked with such bands as Ben Pollack; Benny Goodman; Gene Krupa; Teddy Powell; Larry Clinton, and Enoch Light.
Johnny McAfee, vocals
b. Dallas, TX, USA. (Still living Age: 91 in 2004.)
Perhaps, best recalled for his work on the 'Sammy Kaye Show'.
Solid! -- Johnny McAfee

Ray Pearl, leader.

Joe Thomas, Trumpet
b. Webster Groves, MO, USA.
d. 1984.
Joe Thomas was a much admired trumpeter who played throughout the Midwest before moving to New York. There he played with Fletcher Henderson, Claude Hopkins, Benny Carter, Teddy Wilson, and various other popular bands. He could also stay busy by freelancing and played with Cozy Cole, Bud Freeman, Barney Bigard, Buck Clayton, Vic Dickenson, Coleman Hawkins, and other top-notch musicians. Occasionally he put together his own band to perform in a club or to make a record.

Leo Vauchant(-Arnaud), Trombone
b. Cauzan, France. Leo Arnaud or Léo Arnaud (July 24, 1904April 26, 1991) (pronounced /ˈleɪ.oʊ ɑrˈnoʊ/ in English) was a French-American composer of film scores, best known for scoring Bugler's Dream, which is used as the theme for the Olympic Games.
The composer studied composition at conservatories in Lyon and Paris with Maurice Raveland Vincent d'Indy. After playing as a jazz trombonist in France using the name Leo Vauchant and arranging for the Jack Hylton band in England from 1928 to 1930, he immigrated to the United States in 1931. He worked in Hollywood as an arranger for Fred Waring before joining MGM as an arranger, composer, and orchestrator from 1936 to 1966.
In 1980, Arnaud left Hollywood and retired to Yadkin County, North Carolina. His wife, Faye Brooks Arnaud, was a native of the area. He is buried at Asbury United Methodist Church in Hamptonville, North Carolina.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Spencer O'neill, drums
died in New York, NY, USA.
Age: 30.
Played with John Kirby.
O'Neill Spencer - Wikipedia

Billy Austin, songwriter
died in Hollywood, CA, USA.
Age: 68.
Played with Louis Jordan.

Tommy Duncan, vocals
died in Tulsa, OK, USA.
Age: 56.
Played with Bob Wills
Tommy Duncan - Wikipedia

Bobby Ramirez, drums
died in Chicago, IL, USA.

Clarence "Bon Ton" Garlow, guitar
died in Beaumont, TX, USA.
Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


All Star Trio - left to right: - George Hamilton Green, Wheeler Wadsworth, Victor Arden
  • My Cairo Love


Bennie Krueger and his Orchestra - 1920
Left to right: Herman Farberman (trumpet); Happy Reis (drums); Unknown
(cello and bass; Fred Shilling (tb); Bennie Krueger (sax and leader); Harry Reser
(banjo); unknown (piano); Ruby Greenberg (violin).
  • Pleasure Mad


Joe Venuti and his New Yorkers - I'm On The Crest Of A Wave

Annette Hanshaw - Here We Are

Annette Hanshaw - I Can't Give You Anything But Love - (from "Blackbirds of 1928")

Annette Hanshaw - I Must Have That Man - (from "Blackbirds of 1928")

Annette Hanshaw - True Blue Lou



    The California Ramblers - Dream House

    Beale Street Washboard Band - Forty And Tight

    Charleston Chasers - Lovable And Sweet

      Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys - Moanin' Low

      Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys - Sweetness

      Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra - (I'm Just Wild About Everything) And Especially You - Vocal refrain by Joe Sanders


      Isham Jones and his Orchestra - Louisville Lady


      I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby
      ~Music by Jimmy McHugh
      ~Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
      ~Published 1928

      Gee, but it's tough to be broke, kid.
      It's not a joke, kid--it's a curse.
      My luck is changing--it's gotten
      from simply rotten to something worse.
      I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby
      Who knows someday I will win too
      I'll begin to reach my prime.
      Now that I see what our end is
      All can spend is just my time.
      I can't give you anything but love, baby.
      That's the only thing I've plenty of, baby.
      Dream a while, scheme a while,
      You're sure to find
      Happiness and, I guess,
      All those things you've always pined for.
      Gee, it's great to see you looking swell, baby.
      Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, baby.
      Till that lucky day you know darn well, baby,
      I can't give you anything but love.

      ~(Howard Dietz / Ralph Rainger)
      I feel too bad
      I’m feeling mighty sick and sore
      So bad I feel
      I said I’m feeling sick and sore
      And so afraid
      My man don’t love me no more
      Moanin’ low
      My sweet man I love him so
      Though he’s mean as can be
      He’s the kind of man
      Who needs the kind of woman like me
      I wanna die
      If sweet man should pass me by
      If I doubt where he’d be
      He’s the kind of man
      Who needs the kind of woman like me
      Don’t know any reason why he treats me so poorly
      What have I gone and done
      Makes my trouble double
      With these worries when surely
      I ain’t deservin’ it none
      Moanin’ low
      My sweet man is gonna go
      When he goes oh lordy
      He’s the kind of man
      Who needs the kind of woman like me
      Don’t know any reason why he treats me so coolly
      What have I gone and done
      He makes my trouble double
      With these worries when surely
      I ain’t deserving enough
      Moanin’ low
      My sweet man is gonna go
      When he goes oh lordy
      He’s the kind of man
      Who needs the kind of a woman like me.

      brought to you by...
      Special Thanks To:
      and all those who have provided content,

      images and sound files for this site.

      No comments: