Words and Music by Byron Gay and Richard Whiting



Wilbur Dorsey "Buck" Clayton
b. Parsons, KS, USA.
d. Dec. 8, 1991, New York, NY, USA.
An excellent bandleader and accompanist for many vocalists, including Billie Holiday, Buck Clayton was a valued soloist with Count Basie Orchestra during the '30s and '40s, and later was a celebrated studio and jam session player, writer, and arranger. His tart, striking tone and melodic dexterity were his trademark, and Clayton provided several charts for Basie's orchestra and many other groups. Clayton began his career in California, where he organized a big band that had a residency in China in 1934. When he returned, Clayton led a group and played with other local bands. During a 1936 visit to Kansas City, he was invited to join Basie's orchestra as a replacement for Hot Lips Page. Clayton was also featured on sessions with Lester Young, Teddy Wilson, and Holiday in the late '30s. He remained in the Basie band until 1943, when he left for army service.
After leaving the army, Clayton did arrangements for Basie, Benny Goodman, and Harry James before forming a sextet in the late '40s. He toured Europe with this group in 1949 and 1950. Clayton continued heading a combo during the '50s, and worked with Joe Bushkin, Tony Parenti, and Jimmy Rushing, among others. He organized a series of outstanding recordings for Columbia in the mid-'50s under the title Jam Session (compiled and reissued by Mosaic in 1993). There were sessions with Rushing, Ruby Braff, and Nat Pierce. Clayton led a combo with Coleman Hawkins and J.J. Johnson at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, then reunited with Goodman in 1957 at the Waldorf Astoria.
There was another European tour, this time with Mezz Mezzrow. He appeared in the 1956 film The Benny Goodman Story and played the 1958 Brussels World Fair with Sidney Bechet. Clayton later made another European visit with a Newport Jazz Festival tour. He joined Eddie Condon's band in 1959, a year after appearing in the film Jazz on a Summer's Day. Clayton toured Japan and Australia with Condon's group in 1964, and continued to revisit Europe throughout the '60s, often with Humphrey Lyttelton's band, while playing festivals across the country. But lip and health problems virtually ended his playing career in the late '60s. After a period outside of music, Clayton once again became active in music, this time as a non-playing arranger, touring Africa as part of a State Department series in 1977.
He provided arrangements and compositions for a 1974 Lyttleton and Buddy Tate album, and did more jam session albums for Chiaroscuro in 1974 and 1975. He also became an educator, teaching at Hunter College in the early '80s. Clayton led a group of Basie sidemen on a European tour in 1983, then headed his own big band in 1987 that played almost exclusively his compositions and arrangements. That same year Clayton's extensive autobiography Buck Clayton's Jazz World, with Nancy Miller-Elliot, was published.
~ Ron Wynn

Leon Eason, trumpet
b. Rich Square, NC, USA. 
Not to be confused with the yodeling vocalist Leon Thomas, this artist was born Thomas Leon Eason but used his middle name during his professional career, appearing as Leon Eason on the few recordings he managed to make. One of these was a 1958 single cut for Blue Note, featuring the songs "I'm in the Mood for Love" and "Lazy River," copies of which are collector's items of some value. The A-side showed up on a compilation of smoothie vocal tracks entitled Blue Velvet, undoubtedly leading to the wrong impression of Eason. Influenced to take up the trumpet by Louis Armstrong, Eason was a multi-instrumentalist and dancer who came up in early vaudeville, quite a different style of entertainment than the make-out crooning of the '50s.
His first instruments were violin and clarinet, which he played as a teenager. Eason eased into vaudeville as a dancer, not a musician, performing in many routines alongside Herbert Harper. Exposure to Armstrong recordings got him practicing on the trumpet, and by 1930 he was good enough to play in a band led by Hubert Raveneau. In the first half of this decade, Eason was a member of the Alabams, a combo that accompanied performers such as Buck & Bubbles. In 1936 Eason started his own group, working at venues around New York City and New Jersey. Albany was his stomping grounds in the early '40s, followed by a stint in the Army that lasted less than two years. By 1944 he was back in action as a performer, touring with Gene Phipps, Grachan Moncur's Strollers, and other groups.
From 1948 through 1951 he worked in a band led by Red Lincoln, appearing on several recordings. Eason performed alongside Jack Alberson in 1952, then began working almost exclusively as a soloist. His trio was the main reason to visit Pitt's Place in Newark for more than a decade beginning in 1956; the club, like the city, was the pits. The Blue Note recording took place during the period when this label was owned by Capitol Records, and was looking for chart single success.

Mary Arlene Higdon, C&W vocals
b. Richmond, VA, USA.
Please see "Sunshine Sue" below.

Roy Newman, (Western Swing)
b. Santa Anna, TX, USA. 
(Best known release: "I Can't Dance, I Got Ants In My Pants". 1935)
Roy Newman was a western swing bandleader whose outfit was making records before Bob Wills , and was already broadening the boundaries of western swing before they were defined.
Roy Newman & His Boys had a sound was also just about the least countrified of major western swing artists, being more Dixieland in character, especially in their use of the clarinet. Their singles, mostly done for Vocalion, included "Devil with the Devil," "I Can't Dance (I Got Ants in My Pants)," and a version of "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby." The attribution of the latter song to Newman as an original, as is made in the notes to Rhino's Texas Music Vol. 2 collection, however, is patently wrong, as his 1938 recording was made two years after fellow Texan Rex Griffin version of "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby," which can more safely be considered original. The other members of Newman's band, circa late 1938, included Gene Sullivan (vocals) and Holly Horton (clarinet), with additional players who may have included Cecil Brower (fiddle), Jim Boyd (guitar), Walter Kirkes (banjo), and Ish Irwin (bass). ~ Bruce Eder

Jo Stafford, vocalist
b. Coalinga, CA, USA.
né: Jo Elizabeth Stafford.
Married to Paul Weston.
Also remembered for her work with the The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Biography ~by John Bush
One of the most technically gifted and popular vocalists of the immediate post-war period, Jo Stafford effortlessly walked the line between breezy pop and the more serious art of post-big-band jazz singing. With the help of her husband, top-flight arranger and Capitol A&R director Paul Weston, Stafford recorded throughout the '40s and '50s for Capitol and Columbia. She also contributed (with Weston) to one of the best pop novelty acts of the period, a hilariously inept and off-key satire that saw the couple billed as Jonathan and Darlene Edwards.

Born near Fresno, California, Stafford sang from an early age and was classically trained, though she later joined her sisters in a country-tinged act (associated for a time with Joe "Country" Washburne). At the age of just 17, she became the first female voice in the seven-man vocal act known as the Pied Pipers.

Soon after the group joined Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra in 1939 however, it was pruned to a quartet (that also included Stafford's first husband, co-founder John Huddleston). The group appeared on several of the Dorsey band's hits of the early '40s, a few of which paired them with Frank Sinatra. Stafford gained her first solo spots on a pair of Dorsey band hits, "Yes, Indeed!" and "Manhattan Serenade." She finally left the Pied Pipers for a solo contract in 1944 (she was replaced by June Hutton), though the group provided back-up for many of her initial solo hits.

Not only signed to Capitol but able to preview hit songs as the co-host of label-founder Johnny Mercer's radio program, Stafford hit the charts with the mid-'40s songs "Long Ago (And Far Away)," "I Love You" and "Candy." The latter, a duet with Mercer and the Pied Pipers, became her first number one. In 1948, her duet with Gordon MacRae on "My Darling, My Darling" became her second. She later moved to Columbia and recorded the two biggest hits of her career, 1952's "You Belong to Me" and 1954's "Make Love to Me." Stafford gained her own television program during the mid-'50s, and also recorded the first LP by Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, American Popular Songs. (It wasn't the first time Stafford had used a pseudonym, however; in 1947, she billed herself as Cinderella G. Stump to record a cover of the cornpone single "Temptation [Tim-Tay-Shun].") Though she slipped from the charts in the late '50s and retired from performance, Stafford continued to record and issued the LP Getting Sentimental over Tommy Dorsey on Reprise in 1963. Stafford also founded Corinthian Records, with Weston, to reissue the couple's various recordings.
Jo Stafford - Wikipedia
Interview by KUOW-FM’s Amanda Wilde

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"Sunshine Sue"
C&W vocals

b. Kesauqua, IA, USA.

Richard Whiting, composer
Also, Vocalist Margaret Whiting's father.
Hand In Hand Again
Composer Richard A. Whiting was born in Peoria, Illinois on November 12, 1891. After graduating from Los Angeles’ Harvard Military School, Whiting began his career as a staff writer for various music publishers and in 1912 became a personal manager.
He moved Hollywood in 1919 and wrote the film scores for Innocents of Paris, Dance of Life, Monte Carlo, Safety in Numbers, The Playboy of Paris, Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round, One Hour With You, Adorable, Big Broadcast of 1936, Varsity Show, Ready, Willing and Able, Hollywood Hotel and Cowboy from Brooklyn.
Collaborating with lyricists like BG DeSylva, Ray Egan, Johnny Mercer, Neil Moret, Leo Robin, Gus Kahn and Sidney Clare, Whiting produced hits like “(They Made it Twice as Nice as Paradise) and They Called it Dixieland”, “Till We Meet Again”, “Some Sunday Morning”, “It’s Tulip Time in Holland”, “Where the Morning Glories Grow”, “Where the Black-Eyed Susans Grow”, “Japanese Sandman”, “Sleepy-time Gal”, “Ain’t We Got Fun”, “Honey”, “Breezin’ Along With the Breeze”, “Horses”, “It’s a Habit of Mine”, “Beyond the Blue Horizon”, “Eadie Was a Lady”, “On the Good Ship Lollipop”, “Sentimental and Melancholy”, “Too Marvelous for Words”, “Love is on the Air Tonight”, “Silhouetted in the Moonlight”, “You’ve Got Something There” and “Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride”.
Whiting also wrote scores for Broadway including Toot Sweet, George White’s Scandals of 1919 and Take a Chance.
Richard Whiting died in Beverly Hills, California on February 10, 1938.
Bert Williams
b. New Providence, Nassau, Bahamas
Williams, [Egbert Austin] Bert (1874–1922), comic actor.
W.C. Fields called him:
"the funniest man I ever saw and the saddest man I ever knew…"
The greatest of African‐American comedians and one of the finest of all comics, he was born in the West Indies and was brought to the United States while still a youngster. Williams played for a time in minstrelsy, then in 1895 joined with George Walker (d. 1911) to form an act in which Walker played the sharp‐dealing dandy and Williams his downtrodden patsy who dressed shabbily, walked with a slow shuffle, and had a lugubrious delivery that often packed a hidden punch. Together they appeared in four Broadway shows: The Gold Bug (1896), In Dahomey (1903), Abyssinia (1906), and Bandanna Land (1908). At a time when racial bigotry was rampant even among leading drama critics, Theatre Magazine proclaimed him “a vastly funnier man than any white comedian now on the American stage.”
After Walker's death from paresis, Williams appeared in Mr. Lode of Koal (1909) and in eight editions of the Ziegfeld Follies, beginning in 1910. He was also popular in vaudeville and was identified with such songs as “Nobody” and “The Darktown Poker Club.”
Although he was an intelligent, handsome, light‐skinned man, he was forced to black up for his appearances and was never permitted to abandon the stereotypical black he portrayed so hilariously.
~Biography: Nobody: The Story of Bert Williams, Ann Charters, 1970.

When life seems full of clouds and rain,
And I am filled with naught but pain,
Who soothes my thumping, bumping brain?
[pause] Nobody.
When winter comes with snow and sleet,
And me with hunger and cold feet,
Who says, "Here's two bits, go and eat"?
[pause] Nobody.
I ain't never done nothin' to Nobody.
I ain't never got nothin' from Nobody, no time.
And, until I get somethin' from somebody sometime,
I don't intend to do nothin' for Nobody, no time.

Notable Events Occurring
On This Date Include:

Preston Jackson, trombone
died in Blytheville, AR, USA.
Age: 81

Dicky Wells, trombone
died in New York (Harlem), NY, USA.
Age: 78.

Vet Boswell, vocals
died in Peekskill, NY, USA.
Age: 77.
Member: 'The Boswell Sisters' vocal group.

Charles "Honi" Coles, tap dancer/vocals
died in New York (East Elmhurst), NY, USA.
Age: 81.
Member: Coles & Atkins (and solo).

Charles Coles - Wikipedia

Songs Recorded/Released
On This Date Include:


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra


Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five
Thomas Morris and his Seven Hot Babies - “Blues For The Everglades”


Phil Napoleon and his Orchestra - “Five Pennies” (Red Nichols )


Fred Hall and his Sugar Babies - “I'm Wild About Horns On Automobiles”


Joe Venuti's Blue Four/Five/Six
“I've Found A New Baby”

“Sweet Sue (Just You)”


Sweet Sue Just You

Every little star above knows the one I love sweet Sue just you
And the moon up high knows the reason why sweet Sue it's you
No one else it seems ever shares my dreams
And without you dear I don't know what I'd do
In this heart of mine you live all the time sweet Sue just you

(Every star above knows the one I love) it's you sweet Sue
(And the moon up high knows the reason why) it's you sweet Sue
Nobody else it seems ever shares my dreams
And without you dear...
You just you just you

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